For a couple of weeks, I have suffered from an unwanted case of writers block. To quell my frustration, I have been browsing through car manufacturer Web sites in the hopes of finding my future car. I happened upon Toyota’s company blog, properly titled “Toyota Open Road.” I was expecting a boring and dull blog, filled with the words of flighty employees and big headed executives, but was pleasantly suprised to find that the blog was witty, fun, and up-to-date.
Your first look at Open Road might leave you apprehensive. The blog design is bland, and the grey and white pallet does not add any color to the blog. What does add color to the blog are the witty and charismatic posts of editor, Jon F. Thompson.
Thompson’s posts are quick and to the point. He discusses topic’s that are important to the general public, such as environmental and economical concerns. The blog is updated once every two or three days, which keeps the readers entertained. One of the most appealing things about Open Road is that the topics dicussed move with the times. The up-to-date posts are important for consumers and manufacturers alike.
Like most blogs, Open Road has its fair share of problems. Even though Thompson tries to steer clear of inflating Toyota’s image, there are a number of posts that focus on just that. What is refreshing to see is that there is a touch of sarcasm to these posts, which shows Toyota is comfortable with its image and not afraid to make fun of itself. Another problem is that Open Road has a small reader base. This can be seen by noting that most blog posts only have one or two comments. If Toyota worked on increasing readership and getting word out, I feel that this blog could become quite popular.
In class last week we took a look at General Motors blog. Even though the design of the blog was new and fresh, the posts themselves were dull, formal, and did not pertain to a general audience. Toyota’s Open Road revived my faith in manufacturer blogs. The topics discussed piqued my interest, and the charismatic words infused in the posts made discussing cars fun and entertaining. I am planning on keeping an eye on Open Road, and would recommend it to past, present, and future car owners alike.
Open Road can be found at http://blog.toyota.com/. Check it out and let me know your thoughts!