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Toyota launches a social network for drivers

Is the car the ultimate mobile device? Toyota thinks so. With, they’ve launched a social network for Toyota owners and drivers that keeps them connected to Toyota, to its dealers, and to other drivers. Time will tell if this takes hold, but you have to admit that the Internet-connected car is closer to reality than ever before, and even before we reach that state, we all have network-connected phones with is in the car. The question is, what do you do with that auto(mobile) computing power?

Vertical online communities, such as Caregiver Village, have always been with us in the form of communities of interest, communities of circumstance, communities of purpose, and communities of action. So, Ujala Sehgal of Fishbowl NY, shares Toyota‘s go at it, Toyota Drivers Get Their Own Social Network:

Toyota announced that it plans to develop a private social network
for its vehicle owners called Toyota Friend. The network, set to launch
in 2012, will be developed with San Francisco cloud-computing company, and will enable drivers to stay connected with their
cars, their local dealers, and each other–using their car. “The car
is the true mobile device,” Marc Benioff, CEO of, said
recently, according to The Atlantic Wire.

Also check out Engadget’s reporting, Toyota to launch social network for people who like to befriend car dealerships.

My advice to Toyota is to hire as many passionate community managers as you can. Who love cars, yes, but more so, are passionate about catalyzing conversation, keeping the momentum after pouring in the energy to not only moderate but to be encouraging and empowering–essentially, someone who is trained in organizational development or hosting amazing dinner parties. For the first six months, it will be (or feel like) 100% Toyota staff or outsourced Toyota staffers (like the team at Gerris digital). The community will never be 100% self-perpetuating. The community will always need shepherds to keep the flock together. Though it will surely help, the passion of people about their Toyota will never be quite good enough, though I would recommend keeping the Tundra and Prius crowd sufficiently separated.

What do you think about the power of the private social network?

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Learn more about Chris Abraham at Gerris digital.

Chris Abraham

Chris Abraham, digital strategist and technologist, is a leading expert in digital: search engine optimization (SEO), online relationship management (ORM), Internet privacy, Wikipedia curationsocial media strategy, and online public relations with a focus on blogger outreachinfluencer engagement, and Internet crisis response, with the digital PR and social media marketing agency Gerris digital. [Feel free to self-schedule a 15-minute call, a 30-minute call, or a 60-minute call with me] A pioneer in online social networks and publishing, with a natural facility for anticipating the next big thing, Chris is an Internet analyst, web strategy consultant and adviser to the industries' leading firms. Chris Abraham specializes in web technologies, including content marketing, online collaboration, blogging, and consumer generated media.  Chris Abraham was named a Top 50 Social Media Power Influencer by Forbes, #1 PR2.0 Influencer by Traackr, and top-10 social media influencers by Marketwire; and, for what it’s worth, Chris has a Klout of 79 the last time he looked. Chris Abraham started doing web development back in 1994, SEO in 1998, blogging in 1999, influencer engagement in 2003, social media strategy in 2005, blogger outreach in 2006, and Wikipedia curation in 2007. Feel free to self-schedule a 15-minute call, a 30-minute call, or a 60-minute call. If you want to know the services that Chris offers check out Services If you want to work with Chris use the Contact Form You're welcome to follow me via Social Media You can learn more about Chris over in About Chris writes a lot so check out the Blog Chris offers webinars so check Events

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