By on December 16, 2006

m_snow_car222.jpgA blogger recently concluded that The Truth About Cars (TTAC) is the exact opposite of traditional blog. Our posts offer crazed and demented commentary– which our readers counter with careful and well-reasoned analysis. Yes, well, TTAC is certainly home to the most intelligent and engaged readership in the biz. I am constantly astounded by our readers’ wisdom, passion and insight. While TTAC is dwarfed by the mainstream automotive media, this is the place where crucial ideas are stress tested by an informed audience. I can not thank you enough for your contribution to TTAC’s editorial development. Now click on the damn Michelin ad. And listen up: we need your help.

Again, please click on the Michelin ad. As our first honest-to-God dedicated advertiser, they deserve your support. TTAC’s portion of the tire maker’s new media budget will help keep us both free (i.e. alive) and independent (i.e. snarky). If you support our mission of motojournalistic mayhem, please get into the habit of patronizing our patrons.

Second, it’s time to spread the TTAC gospel. Everything either grows or dies. Unlike your local municipal conurbation, we need additional traffic. If you could email your best buds a url of a rant or review that strikes (if not wounds) your fancy, the resulting intellectual virus will help secure the readership we need to become a larger and more important force in automotive journalism. To that end, I present the following two paragraphs for your cutting and pasting pleasure:

Yo dog! How’s it hanging? I’m emailing you because this whack job webhead asked me to cut, paste and send this paragraph so you’d click on www.thetruthaboutcars.com and drive up the site’s traffic– so he can score some ad bucks and hit up Porsche for a press car. You probably knew it was something weird like that because A) what do I care about some other guy driving a Porsche and B) you know I’d never call you “dog” or enquire about the health of your testicles.

Anyway, the site’s excellent. And yes, this is still cut and paste, so you can’t trust a word you’re reading. But trust me; The Truth About Cars is well worth a visit. It’s got no-holds-barred automotive rants and reviews, updated every damn day. The articles are only 800 words, so it’s a quick fix. And the writing’s funny enough that I have ejected coffee through my nose on at least one occasion. So do me a favor and click on www.thetruthaboutcars.com . By the way, you know that thing I borrowed a while back? I lost it. 

Thirdly, I need your help patrolling the comments section. Initially, all I ask is that you refrain from engaging flamers and trolls. Attacking misguided malcontents only encourages them. If you spot a comment that’s deliberately inflammatory towards the site, a writer or another commentator (e.g. a comment that accuses a writer of a personal prejudice against a domestic automaker’s products), please email me immediately at [email protected] I’m ready, willing and able to delete offensive posts and ban persistent offenders. Have done. Will do.

And lastly, I’d like you to have a merry Christmas and/or a Happy Hanukkah. In the New Year, TTAC will launch a new site design and a couple of exciting (profitable?) commercial enterprises. We’ll give you a heads-up when our plans take shape, so you can help us avoid ye olde self petard hoisting deal. (Again.) Meanwhile, make sure you take some time this holiday season to want what you already have. Working together, we've built a vibrant, thriving community of automotive enthusiasts who aren’t afraid to hear– and tell– the truth. Professionally, that's all I ever wanted. Thank you. 

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64 Comments on “TTAC Xmas SOS...”


  • avatar
    shabster

    Mr. Farago,

    This is a very nice editorial.

    I like your comments about flamers and trolls. Ridding your blog of low-rent attacks will distinguish your blog from the others.

    It’d be kinda nice if your blog was of a classy, mature nature.

    Thanks for wishing us a Merry Christmas – not a merry Xmas.

    Keep up the great work.

    Merry Christmas to you and the rest of your team.

    Regards,
    Hal.

  • avatar

    Who was the blogger in question? Great insight.

    But what the blogger might not realize is that RF is behind both sides of the site. The comments here are so intelligent because the flamers and trolls get the boot. Thanks, RF.

  • avatar
    windswords

    An idea: If you make some nice t-shirts, caps, pens, etc. with the logo and website on them I would buy some. It could help promote the site. I think this used to be part of Gorilla marketing but it’s more mainstream now.

    Anyways Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah to all our Jewish friends as well.

  • avatar
    alanp

    What Michelin ad? If you’d given us a link to click in the editorial, I’d be glad to do it, but as my browser blocks most ads (and pop-ups) I just don’t see any ads. Not that I mind one or two ads to support a site, but since many sites have WAY too many intrusive and obnoxious ads it’s not really an option to allow ads in general.

    And yes, I know I can allow ads for one particular website – and maybe I’ll do that for TTAC – as long as it stays tasteful in it’s use of ads.

  • avatar
    misterbozack

    Robert, I love this post. I just cut and pasted the part you requested to 2 different people. Dude, you are not only clever, but funny too. And that’s no easy feat.

    Keep up the great work and let’s talk after the new year about what else you can do to generate some cash for this bastion of automotive truth. I’ve got to belive my 7 years on the Internet selling stuff can be put to good use here.

    Cheers & Happy Holidays,
    Corey

  • avatar
    qfrog

    I see the Michelin ad at work where I use IE in win2k pro. Here at home on firefox/XP I have the same sliver of bibendum and his boozer of choice.

  • avatar
    CliffG

    Thanks RF for providing the finest automotive commentary site in the world. Seriously. I did click on the Michelin ad even though the last few sets of tires I have bought were Michelins. Like I would change at this point. Merry Christmas to y’all.

  • avatar
    Justin Berkowitz

    Best auto website, full stop.

    I also second windswords’s post about some TTAC gear. In addition to the basic TTAC plastering on the front, they could say things like “Team Sajeev” or “Farago flew first class half way around the world to a Ford press junket, stayed in a 4-star hotel, and ate filet mignon, and all I got was this lousy t-shirt”

  • avatar
    gakoenig

    Say, dumb idea-

    Could your web guys make the comments section threaded, like on /.?

    Not that TTAC should be like Slashdot, but it would make the user comment section much more readable and lively.

  • avatar
    hellogodsy

    T-Shirts would definetly be a good idea. A cool way of deciding on the design could be a voting process like they had on Jalopnik a while ago. An even cooler idea would be to have a contest with reader submitted designs.

  • avatar

    RF,

    Just a brief word of warning. It’s against the Google terms of service to ask people to click on the ads. If Google’s all-seeing-eye picks up on it, they’ll suspend or even cancel your account (happened to a blogger I know here in Australia and his appeal was much more vaguely worded than yours).

    If you want to lift your Google income, I’d suggest setting up a Google sitemap. Worked wonders for my search ranking and consequently, Adsense revenue.

    Congratulations on a watershed year and a very Saaby Christmas to all of you.

  • avatar
    Ken Strumpf

    I click on the Michelin ad but nothing happens. Is it because I’m running Safari on a Mac? Anyway, great site. I’ve learned a ton of great info since I started lurking.

  • avatar
    Luther

    Dude, you are not only clever, but funny too. And that’s no easy feat.

    Indeed. I would also like to add well-reasoned. The only other writer that I know of that can pull of this feat is P.J. O’Rourke.

    BTW – I bought a set of Michelin HydroEdge tires for my beater. These tires do not wear.

    Happy Holidays all and a prosperous 2007.

  • avatar

    I see no ad in Firefox or IE 7. That being said, I like their tires and their TV ads make me smile.. but BOY I WOULD LOVE IT IF THEY SPENT MORE AD DOLLARS HERE! I bet Mr. Farago would look SUPER CUTE podcasting from inside the tire outfit.

    Maybe a contest to design a TTAC T-shirt? Then put the shirt up on Cafe Press or the like?

    Front: “The truth hurts…” Back: “Because my sides ache from laughing so hard”.

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    It has been my pleasure to read TTAC. A breath of fresh air! I’m serious… Thanks.

    I promise to consider Michelens to replace my dunlops the next time.

  • avatar
    noley

    RF,

    Thanks for providing a superior site that covers such a wide range of automotive topics. I spend way to much time on this site, but it’s worthwhile because the quality of the discussion is generally so high. From what I’ve seen, only one other car-related site has the same quality of readership and dialogue.

    And I do click on the ads. I run a site in a very different industry and know clicking the ads is vital.

    Keep up the great work, and Merry Christmas to you, too. And all the other pistonheads who hang out at TTAC.

  • avatar
    JJ

    Is that 190 SL on Michelins as well, or isn’t it?

    I just hope their won’t be any “The tire roar on this car is a bit harsh but this might be due to the Bridgestone (Firestone?) tires on the car we tested…” in some review someday, like I did encounter in a car magazine I used to read.

    Pretty confident their won’t be though.

    Unfortunately, I don’t really know that much other people who might be really interested in TTAC since it’s very interesting and fun, but only if you REALLY like cars and want to read more than the usual car ads reviews in most magazines want you to read. Although I Personally got the url via one of our local (Dutch) car magazines – No, really.

    Anyway, I still check the website everyday, often multiple times a day, so I’ll click the ads some more.

    Merry Christmas to everybody.

  • avatar
    carguy

    Well done Robert – TTAC is truly a patch of brilliance in a sea of mediocrity and should be congratulated for approaching the automotive industry with fresh perspective and insight as well as a healthy appetite for sacred cows.

    On the downside, you have ruined my enjoyment of all these other sites leaving me with TTAC, Jalopnik and Autoblog (OK and sometimes Edmunds). Expect no love from other sites raising the bar in both content and imaginative writing.

    Please continue to police the quality of the comment contributions is a good part of makes TTAC work.

    Like gakoenig, I would also love to see threaded comments and possibly even a section for user editorials/reviews etc.

    A merry Christmas to all TTAC staff and readers and may 2007 bring this site the success it deserves.

    PS: I don’t have problems with the Michelin ad in either IE7 or FF2.

  • avatar
    Mike Batty

    Far and away the most informative and non partisan web site on today’s vehicles. Sure do appreciate the non flaming responses to some strong opinions.
    Kudos to Mr Farago on finally, a thinking mans discussion group.

  • avatar
    TreyV

    “By the way, you know that thing I borrowed a while back? I lost it.”

    Priceless. :)

    I will try to remember to give some click-through love in the future. Promise.

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    I love French rubber.

  • avatar
    Terry Parkhurst

    There’s a reason that Ford went with Michelin as its OEM tire supplier, after the Firestone-Ford (or maybe Ford-Firestone?) debacle; and it probably isn’t just a cost issue. Although forgive me for saying it, but Bridgestone makes some very good tires, too.
    As for advertising, if the products and services are solid, it is just another resource for the readers. Money after all, does indeed make the world go ’round.

  • avatar
    agmathai

    I was wondering how you kept this thing going with just puny adsense links. Hope the rubber man is the first of many more corporate supporters. Anyway, best of success and happy holidays.

    P.S. – FWIW, the next set of staggered treads for my 330 will def. be Michelins…

  • avatar
    Rastus

    Happy Holidays to everyone out there…and yep, that even includes a “Happy…or is it Merry Kwanzaa”.

    I have to admit, this is my favorite auto blog/website. It is absolutely sheer genius(!!) to tap into the absolute disgust many, MANY people have with domestics, and in particular GM! That is what put your blog on my radar :) It’s almost like group therapy…because there are SO MANY people in N.A. who’s bile begins to churn inside them at the mention of a GM vehicle…and I’m no different.

    Thanks for the wit, humor, the Johnny Lieberman articles, etc….all in all a website to be proud of. It’s been a good year, and I wish you all an even better 2007.

    MERRY KWANZAA!!!

  • avatar
    roadracer

    The Michelin ad works fine with Opera. I can click right through and have them tell me there are no Michelin or BFG tires that fit my car.

    Merry Christmas to all!

  • avatar
    HEATHROI

    I wondered one day why the hell was I was getting 4 car magazines delivered a month when they covered much the the same stuff, when I had a great article on TTAC every day sometimes two that was short and sweet and to the point.

    (and maybe Michelin, Uniroyal or BF Goodrich could suggest near alternatives if they don’t have an exact match)

  • avatar
    NICKNICK

    gakoenig and carguy: I’m gonna have to, uh, go ahead and disagree with you.

    I vote against threading comments like on slashdot. I don’t enjoy reading the comments on slashdot because i find skimming more difficult. just my 2 cents.

    and don’t forget our canadian friends (i’m looking at you, mikey) — happy boxing day.

    really, i’d like to just wish everybody a happy hanukwanzaboxmas

    probably should cram solstice in there too

  • avatar
    i6

    Congrats on the sponsorship. Not just any sponsor but Michelin, on of the few in the industry who show a passion for cars.
    I’m not in the ad business, so I don’t know if I should make it look like I’m on the fence about tire brands in order to urge your sponsor to fork over a bit more cash, but if I have to say that if I had all the tire manufacturers lined up for me to choose which one gets the honour of sponsoring me, I’d go with Michelin. I’m impressed with the way they comported themselves in F1, their collaboration with Segway, the Bibendum Challenge, the Tweel…
    In fact, perhaps you should be sponsoring them to appear on your site, hmmm?
    I wish you all a Merry Christmas and many happy Bowel Movements in ’07

  • avatar
    mikey

    Keep it going R.F. its my daily fix.I try to click on an ad every visit.
    Merry Christmas to all,even Rastus who must know that theres a lot more good people than bad,working at G.M.
    If I could do it my friend I’d park a Z O6 Vette in your driveway christmas morning,It might make you feel better, or not I am sincerely sorry for whatever hurt the General has layed on you.
    Nick Nick remember I live closer to the north pole so Santa visits me first.I think he gonna a bring me a set of Michelins.

  • avatar
    mbz16V

    I just bought some Michelin Alpin winter tires ($600) and clicked on your advertisement link.

    Tell that to your marketing department.

  • avatar
    ronbo456

    Great post on a great site. In the holiday spirit I’ll click through the Michelin ad even though I’ll never buy the tires (good but too pricey).

    The notion that this is a blog in reverse is priceless, however flawed it may be. All of your writing is thoughtful and sensible, even if I don’t always agree.

    One thing that sets you apart is the way you cover the car business as a business. Lots of hacks can write about cars, but there are few (and fewer outlets) that focus on such issues as financing, product portfolio, cost structure, etc.

    So good on you all, and happy holidays of whatever flavor.

  • avatar
    Jan Andersson

    According to most comments here about computers and internet, maybe we have to start another TTAC; The Truth About Computers.

  • avatar

    Thanks RF – great site.

    Regarding threading of the comments. Please don’t – it’s far too cumbersome for this site and would make the comments difficult to read and skim. More importantly, it would ruin the clean lines of TTAC.

    Immutable comment numbers would be good. If you’re responding to an earlier comment, you can give the comment number as well as the person’s name (as is currently done). Also you’ll be able to see where comments have been deleted, by the gaps in the sequence.

    Cheers

    Malcolm

  • avatar
    JJ

    TTAC is already getting credits (if not monetary) from Ford too;

    Check out http://www.thetruthabouttrucks.com

    You SHOULD ask money for that one RF.

    Or were they first and did you loosely base the name of this site on theirs?

  • avatar

    JJ: TTAC is already getting credits (if not monetary) from Ford too;
    Check out http://www.thetruthabouttrucks.com

    I clicked on the link. I got a page with the FoMoCo logo at the top. The page was otherwise blank.

    I guess that’s all the truth about their trucks Ford could handle.

  • avatar
    matt.treiber

    I just found out about your website maybe three weeks ago (I can’t even remember how I found it), but needless to say I’m hooked and I’m even going back and reading the first posts until I’m caught up. I was never one for the car mags (best car ever!) and I used to avidly follow the Detroit Free Press’ auto coverage until I got bored of their AP style prose.

    So thank you, my Economist of the auto sector.

    By the way, my Michelin Pilot Sport A/S have easily been my favorite tires.

  • avatar
    mike frederick

    Im in the same boat as you MIKEY….Keep it going R.F. its my daily fix.I try to click on an ad every visit.
    Merry Christmas to all,even Rastus who must know that theres a lot more good people than bad,working at G.M.

    Dont know the history about you & Rastas, but oh well.

    This is one site a person can look at and get an objective yet sound idea where a carmaker is falling short or excelling.
    Happy Holidays to everyone invoved at TTAC.

    P.S.Mikey,I’d love to see whats doing in Oshawa.Im in sunny Mansfield ( whatever ) just thought we could exchange news or views>

  • avatar

    Robert
    A few comments

    1st It is also my understandinf from my boss a web designer that you cannot ask people to click google ads for the sake of the click revenue but I believe you can simply ask people to please visit your sponsers to check out their products.

    2nd Google monitors IP addresses so multiple clicks from the same IP over and over is a bad thing.

    3rd Our company also has problems with the firefox browser but that problem lies with your web designer as most web designers design for explorer.

    Finally it is my opinion that simply deleting posters who question or imply bias against domestic carmakers is counterproductive for several reasons.

    If you want more traffic then you should welcome debate. Remember good televeision (compelling can’t stop watching it) is typically formed from conflict (think Simon from American Idol) and even characters that were wrong in their outlook (think Omarosa from the apprentice) without them this becomes too bland.

    In my opinion you should harness the conflict by running a regular running posting on the debate whether auto media outlets or auto journalists are biased against domestic brands. Push the debate onto those regularly run postings.

    For what it is worth I am not one of those people but I read those claims regularly and I believe they should be posted and debated.

    If someone wants to claim the cobalt is as good as a corrolla or a civic make them prove it or try to prove it.

    Remember that there are a great many lurkers out here that never or almost never post. Keep up the great work

  • avatar
    hondaboy55

    Hi Kids: As this is my first posting I'd like to say Hi to all those who entertain me while tending the fireplace late at night, or while waiting for inspiration to hit me when stuck for a new idea for a website design. I can't say I read blogs at all, nor do I read car mags at all. Don't like posting to discussion boards either. I find this site to be quite the refreshing bright spot on the internet, not just because of the wit of its [paid] staff, but the supporting comments by its non paid volunteer home based staff. Its a rare thing to see intelligent writing on the internet from these two sources working so well together. I see one thing a little frightening though…. A website 'redesign' these are always bad, please don't do it. TTAC has a great look, uncluttered, simple, and with really teriffic header graphics. As a designer myself I can't say enough about the elegance of TTAC's clean design. And best of all, everything lines up, and all the buttons work on all my computers! If you do go ahead with this desasterous act, please get the html checked by w3, there seems to be a surge growing on many websites that affects my computer. As a web designer I have not wanted to track it down, and often write to webmasters about it. On some sites I can't scroll all the way to the left! and yes its <– that left. While my Mac 7600/200 runs netscape 7, I can't run anything newer. And that "200" is 200MHZ. What can I say this computer is the Pinto I never had. I defend still having it and depending on it by saying I know its evils, and have conquored most of them. I was going to make my first posting a comment on cars….. the little 2.5 and their wooows. I have read over and over all the appraisals of their problems, what they need to do, who's fault their predickiment is, and how a Hemi in every engine bay is the solution, the Preius killer, hybrid pick ups, no more suv's, more suv's, build a GOOD car, build a car like my GTO, bring back vacuum operated windshield wipers, up draft fuel injectors, deisels [not again], its all very entertaining. Well I have the difinitive observation on the problems facing tiny 2.5. Their problem is.. the public has changed, and they have not. Its in all of your postings, none of you see it, but all of you write it. Need more evidence, go watch the Bold Moves ivideo series. Right out of the 60's. They could have spent those millions fixing a few long running engine or tranny problems and actually retained a few customers. Yesterday I read about a salesman complaining about what its like to sell a made in the US and A car to kids. Well those kids already know what sucks. Its the same reason a bad movie dies faster now than ever before, text messaging! "In yer face" advertising, as applied to advertising, and product feedback. The little 2.5 don't learn from history, they keep repeating the same activity, and expecting different results. Hell, my first car had the same steering wheel in the entire line of that companines car line, and when I look at advertisements for the same company's products I see the same [new] wheel in each car, the same vents shift levers, etc, 30 years later. The funny thing is, gas prices caused the first big freak-out in detroit, and its going to cause the next one too, and its coming in part 2 this summer. 11 mpg, same as my first car. Thats a problem, 2006 cars with 1972 gas milage. and a $50,000. price tag. And the high expectation that you will be spending $4,000. on repairs before it gets 50,000 miles on the clock. $25,000 trade in if your licky on that $50K car 2 years later. Pricesless…….. Too dam expensive for me. I don't see how [you] guys do it. Back to my website post. TTAC does not actually benefit from google ads, its the advertiser who pays each time you click on one of the ads. And "click fraud" is the new buzzword around the online advertising world, and its drain on ad effectiveness. So TTAC please don't promote that. I do agree we should support this site, if'n yer going to click on the rubber guy, at least click on a few pages, spend some time there, register for its specials via email and make it a point to consider that advertiser when yer buggie needs new shoes, and let the dealer know why yer there, and what brought you there. That honest clicking will keep TTAC on the net. Thanks again for the entertainment, I would like to write about cars though. later. me.

  • avatar
    GodBlessTTAC

    im a media whore now fargo…

    ill try to spread the word, but most the people i know think of there cars like they think of there microwave

  • avatar
    Johnny Canada

    TTAC has always been a valuable resource for me. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve debated so called “car guys”, only to humiliate them with the knowledge I’ve stolen from hundreds of TTAC editorials. So without question, TTAC must survive, or I’m screwed.

    Long live the new media.

  • avatar
    GodBlessTTAC

    sorry sir. i forgot an “a”

  • avatar
    noley

    Cheers for a moderated site that nixes the flamers.
    The other car site I also spend too much time on is moderated to keep out the flamers and yet we definitely have sprited discussions. Courtesy seems to beget courtesy. Like TTAC, people are opinionated and often outspoken, but it remains largely civil and adult.

    The basic rule for this online discussion stuff is don’t say anything you wouldn’t say to someone’s face.

  • avatar
    saleenstang

    yea i love using all the information you give to make myself look better talking to people lol. i love this site so much once i found it ive been reading almost every article youve written. your doing a very good job with this site and its good to see your keeping your ads ,which i did click on, related with cars so far. i cant drive but my dads wheels are already wrapped in michelins

  • avatar

    big thumbs down on the redesign. TTAC looks nice just the way it is.

    *clicks on the ads*

  • avatar

    Done.

    This is a great focused site.

    Michelin is the first of many auto-related companies who will sponsor this site.

    Best wishes for the holiday season and here’s hoping TTAC will have a happy and successful new year!

    Cheers.

  • avatar
    aakash

    The TTAC Commandment #1:
    Thou shalt always click on a couple of Ads, for every article read.

    Keep up the gr8 work RF and the rest of the team!

    I am sure all the regulars will do their bit by following the Commandment :)

  • avatar
    Terry Parkhurst

    While no one would confuse The Truth about Cars.com with Ford’s expropriation of the name vis-a-vis The Truth about Trucks.com – there’s a lot of flash there but little substance at Ford’s site – Name Media might want to talk to Ford’s J. Walter Thompson (or whomever is responsible). I have no idea if editor Farago has copyrighted the name; however, what do you think Hachette Filipacchi Media would do if someone came out with a magazine and called it either Truck and Driver or Road & Truck? And how do you think a judge would rule? That’s not a trick question. I believe it’s what is called a “no brainer.” The words are “cease and desist.”

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    Your ‘little blog’ has really come into its own this year, RF. To a tremendously successful 2007 (however you want to measure that!).

    BTW, I’ve got 10k to go on this set of Michelins before I replace them with another new set of Michelins. They really are a cut above!

    Still looking around these Houston highways for Mehta….

  • avatar
    ZoomZoom

    RF, I clicked on the ad. Now what? I already drive my Prius on Michelin Hydroedges.

    Okay, okay, I’ll pass the word on. It’s the next best thing I can do, yes?

    As somebody else already wrote, thank you for spelling out “Christmas.” For some odd reason, “X-mas” just seems like something of a word of shame. Or maybe a swearword. But it’s a really bad swearword. I have no problem using most of the popular ones from time to time, yet I just can’t bring myself to say “X-mas”.

    Anyhow, may God bless you and yours!

    And a Merry Christmas to all the other writers and to my fellow readers/commentators. Hope Santa brings you all a nice new set of Michelins!

  • avatar
    jazbo123

    Michelin is a good choice, as long as we don’t have tire reviews here.

    I would not recommend taking ads from the OEMs, however parts companies are fine. I think you already know that though…

  • avatar
    alexndr333

    This should have been titled: “TTAC Death Watch 1” You’re learning how hard it is to run a business. Just add in legacy costs, a reluctant union and entrenched bureaucracy and a backward looking dealership network, and you have a sense of what GM and Ford are addressing. But I won’t start calling you Rabid Rob until your second appeal.

  • avatar
    Jeffer

    Congratulations RF. this website has spoiled me. I can no longer bring myself to read the comments posted at Autoblog, Left Lane news and especially Detroit News on-line. This blog delivers some of the finest automotive journalism since…I can’t remember when.
    I eagerly wait for every installment of the “Deathwatch” series and far from finding the DW premature, I would argue that it should have started 40 years ago.
    Ralph Naders “Unsafe at any Speed” could have been sub-titled “The Truth about Cars”

  • avatar
    Caffiend

    I’ll second the suggestion above about the comment grading. Check out reddit.com or digg for the basic premise. Create a karma, or Carma, for readers based on the up/down voting of their comments.

    You could automate the troll/asshole elimination. Kill accounts with a negative rating over a certain score.

    Slashdot has a great concept with their rating filter. You can set your comments display to show only those comments with certain scores. The trolls will be in the negative, and those readers with certain sensiblities won’t have to see it.

    Incorporate one of these ideas, and your moderation can take care of itself.

  • avatar
    Lesley Wimbush

    Merry Christmas to all my fellow car-lovers. And thanks for all the sparkling commentary from contributors and posters alike.
    :)

  • avatar
    Joeypilot

    Sadly, Michelin does not make any run flats for my MINI yet either. Bummer. I really like their products. I would be more than happy to click away to help out your site. I have been spreading the gospel about TTAC for many months now, you need not ask me to continue. Happy Holidays everyone!

  • avatar
    BimmerHead

    To the person above (agmathai) who promised to buy Michelins as their next set of tires for their 330, according to the site, you are out of luck… I also have a 330 with staggered setup and here is what you get when you click through and search:
    We are unable to find an exact fitment for your vehicle. However, a Michelin representative is available by phone. Our expert staff will be glad to help you find the right tire for your vehicle and driving needs.
    Click here to view BFGoodrich® tires that fit your vehicle.
    Click here to view Uniroyal® tires that fit your vehicle.

    Following their links to BFG and/or Uniroyal will not find you tires either.

    At least I clicked through, right?

    Also, I hope the new look and feel will be tested on IE7. The menu on the homepage currently looks like crap in IE7.

    Otherwise, I’ll agree with several of the posters above… Great site! Has made me read ‘Car and Driver’ and ‘Road and Track’ with a new cynicism.

  • avatar

    Errrr…wanna lose that whole “ad” thing?

    Put up a Paypal-run donation button.

    I’ve seen that happily sustain other sites online, and the regulars really do directly contribute to the site’s financial health. This way, a site whose “objectivity” (easy there, Robert) is utterly essential isn’t tainted by having to shill for ANYONE.

    Just sayin’.

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    powerpeecee:
    December 17th, 2006 at 7:06 pm
    big thumbs down on the redesign. TTAC looks nice just the way it is.

    *clicks on the ads*

    now ya know what ford and chevy are goin through

  • avatar
    Loiosh

    Happy Christmas and a Joyous New Year!

    With winter just around the bend, I was investigating tires anyhow. *smiles* Guess, I’ll go take a look at Michelins.

    TTAC is a wonderful site. I’ve recommended it to many of my helpful friends who are trying to assist me with my new car purchase process. Car dealership salesmen are finding their best pitches being countered by “Interesting, but the discussion on thetruthaboutcars.com said…” *chuckles* They can’t believe all the info I have on what’s out there.

    Thanks, TTAC! Your articles are well worth the keyboards I’ve had to replace due to “ejected coffee through my nose “.

  • avatar
    tsofting

    And a Merry Christmas to you, too! I am totally hooked on your site, and I hesitate to think of all the hours I have spent here that I should have spent doing invoicable work (like at this very moment)! On this background it may seem a contradiction to ask you make your site better suited to mobile devices, so I can spend even more time reading TTAC, but a real junkie will never pass up a chance for another fix. In the good old days, CD and other monthlies were preferred bedtime reading, but nowadays I just as well “tune in” to TTAC on my Windows Smartphone to catch up, and this leads to my request; would you consider making the site more palatable to mobile devices? Today, depending on selected views, the page is either way too wide, requiring lots of horizontal scrolling, or (in another view) just one narrow column with one or two words per line. Apart from this small inconvenience the layout is just fine, and the contents even better!

  • avatar
    BlueBrat

    Hi,

    Longtime troll here. Please do not redesign the site. It’s elegant as it is, and most importantly, renders correctly on everything I’ve thrown at it; PC, MAC, Linux, Phone, PDA, etc.

    The Slashdot form of threading may be beneficial as well, if done cleanly. Slashdot is far from clean. It’s a migraine in an egg roll.

    Just my 2 cents. Time to click the banner and wipe an A3 from my Ford’s grill.

  • avatar
    CSJohnston

    Hello Robert and a Merry Christmas to All,

    While I do not always agree with the articles or opinions on the Truth about Cars, it is still the first site I go to each morning as all the comments are thought-provoking (goes well with caffeine).

    I have clicked on the Michelin ad and will do so again if it gets your hit rate up. With respect to future ads on TTAC, perhaps it is worth your time to survey exactly who your readership is. In other words, if our collective demo and psychographic profiles are worthwhile (to prospective advertisers that is) then perhaps you can promote the site to several different products or services that are non automotive in nature (ie. food and beverage, travel and tourism, entertainment, financial, etc).

    Thus you can feel free to critique at will about the auto industry and still generate revenue from ads. Heck, if the vast majority of the readers were willing to endlessly posit on the TWAT award, surely we would be willing to spend a few minutes telling you how great a target market we are!

    Thanks for listening and I look forward to a New Year of disagreeable insight!

  • avatar
    William C Montgomery

    Ken Strumpf: I click on the Michelin ad but nothing happens. Is it because I’m running Safari on a Mac? Anyway, great site. I’ve learned a ton of great info since I started lurking.

    To get the Mechelin ad to work while running Apple’s Safari you must first turn off the pop-up window blocker (in the Safari pull down menu).


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