May 21, 2007

Wow. Edmunds really sucks.

Filed under: Nissan News / Infiniti News — greg @ 12:09 am

By: Chris Snider, Moderator, Maxima Forums .
Why are all the biggest and most popular online automotive resources also the least helpful?

That is what I found myself wondering a few days ago after searching for information on a basic, discontinued car model. I typed the year and name into Google and was rewarded with a page of various websites offering “information” about the model in question. I went down the list, each site frustrating me more than the last. Not only was the information I was looking for simply not there, but the layouts of the sites were are so bad that you have to hunt for what little information was there.

While I don’t recall the specific car I was researching, I do know that I was looking for the power and torque outputs of the top-tier engine option for that car. I had quite a time finding that info (which is about as basic as it gets) because most of the sites I came across only listed power numbers for the base engine option.

Then, later that night, I decided to do some research on Porsche’s 911 Carrera 4S. I put that name in Google and was rewarded with a supremely useless article courtesy of Edmunds Inside Line.

The article had some “Featured Specs” listed for the venerable 4S. Unfortunately, none of them are attributes of the car that deserve to be in that spot…and the “featured specs” that I was looking for were not in the list, but buried within the article itself – if they appeared on the page at all. The “Featured Specs” were as follows: Full time All Wheel Drive, 19 inch wheels, and — this one’s the best — Wide-body rear end.

Yes, the car has all those “specs.” And it’s true that the wide rear fenders are one of the 4S’s most distinguishing features. But all of that would have been fine in the article. “Featured Specs” for a supercar should be things like peak torque and horsepower (and corresponding RPMs) and drivetrain type, including transmission type and number of gears, not how big the wheels are.

The article itself was nearly as useless. Horsepower was mentioned, but no peak-power RPM was noted. No mention of torque, which happens to be one of the 4S’s strong suits and was the specific detail I was hoping to find through my research.

I wonder what the “Featured Specs” for the Buick Lacrosse are… “Cupholders” perhaps? “Power Steering?”

The article itself had all the characteristics of a piece written to sell an automotively naiive soccer mom a minivan. Unfortunately for Edmunds and their authors, the 4S is not a minivan, and it isn’t naiive moms who will be reading the Inside Line article.

Another “offender” that left a particularly bad taste in my mouth was

This site has the worst layout, structure, and visual design I have ever run across in my life–and that includes the stuff turned out by my fellow students back in my freshman computer science class. The left side of the page is a tall stack of links. Unfortunately for the reader, they are all completely useless.

A search for “1998 Toyota Corolla” takes you to a page with some basic specs on that car. For more in depth information, you need to navigate to another page. That in itself is not bad at all — keeping info organized is great. The problem lies in the difficulty inherent in FINDING that other page. Those links on the left side I mentioned before have labels like “Crash Tests” and “Car Specifications.” One would think that clicking “Car Specifications” while viewing the Corolla page would take one to the Corolla’s specs. One would be mistaken. That button takes you to a search page, where you can enter the name of the car you want specs for. But you can’t just type in the name of the car you’re looking for. No, instead you have to wade through layers of links as you drill down through lists of manufacturers and models. They’d be hard-pressed to make it any LESS user-friendly.

There IS a button on the Corolla’s page that leads to its specs, though. That button is located in a nice, out-of-the-way location: the very bottom of the page. It is the same font type, size, and boldness as the rest of the text on the page, which means it does not stand out at all. It is also below a large space dedicated to an advertisement.

I have a hard time understanding how such sites as Edmunds and InternetAutoGuide remain in Google’s results pages. They’re clearly nothing more than ad farms disguised as a legitimate source of information. We’re already seeing them get undeservedly-high search engine results, which means they’re quite simply, cheating. They have less legitimate content than many other sites, yet remain well-represented in search engines. This runs counter to the intent of every search engine – To provide the searcher with the best and most comprehensive information available on any given topic.

I can think of countless ways to improve both websites. Yet Edmunds purports to be the definitive resource for all car owners, car buyers, and car enthusiasts. They should all be glad I know little about marketing and web-authoring, because if I did, they’d all be out of business within a week.

There are far too many sites out there that are run by “web guys”. They lack actual experts and technically-proficient people, touting themselves as “automotive sites”. They need to stay the hell out of the forums business. They know nothing about group dynamics, they know even LESS about cars, and they do it for all the wrong reasons.

They do an enormous disservice to the uninitiated as far as I’m concerned, and that’s irresponsible and unforgiveable.

Chris Snider is a Moderator for the Maxima Forums at .

May 16, 2007

NICOfest at Carlisle – The Article!

Filed under: Nissan News / Infiniti News — greg @ 12:13 am

While Carlisle Performance and Style was an inaugural event last year, NICOclub was fortunate enough to be invited to participate in this second-annual event.

Long the bastion of classics, antiques and collector car aficionados, Carlisle Pennsylvania has only very recently opened its doors to the import and sport compact scene. For this event, NICOclub headed to the legendary Carlisle Fairgrounds, a place that has been hosting automotive events for decades, but will heretoafter never be the same again.

We discussed bringing a little more than a traditional “car show” to the venue – it was time to show the residents of Central PA the real reason why we build these cars….

Read the whole article here!

NICOfest at Miller Motorsports Park – The Article

Filed under: Nissan News / Infiniti News — greg @ 12:09 am

If you missed this NICOclub event because it was “too far to drive” or “I don’t like car shows”, or “I’d rather stay home with my girlfriend”, well, you missed out.  Miller Motorsports Park is EASILY the premiere motorsports facility in the US, and there’s simply no better place to enjoy a weekend of track time and splendid accomodations.

Special thanks to,, the staff at Miller Motorsports Park, Amanda from Loveland CO, the guys from Falken Drift, and the team from the GT Live Events Series.

Read the WHOLE awesome article here!!!!   

May 15, 2007

Express Fuel Pumps – Shady or just Stupid?

Filed under: Nissan News / Infiniti News — greg @ 4:40 pm

So, a company comes on board and pays for a month of advertising.  They start slinging product, and are doing well.  Money is rolling in, the response is great, so they keep making sales. 

The first month passes, they continue to sell product, and they’re invoiced for another month’s advertising.  Now, they’re a small operation, and we’re used to helping the “little guy” get ahead, so it’s pretty common for an advertiser to miss a payment here and there.

A couple months pass, no payments.  The advertiser continues to sell product, ignore invoices, and profit off our members.

When we finally confront the owner, he behaves as if he’s been wronged, and claims he only wanted to pay for one month.  He blames our “ignorance” for allowing him to get away with selling for three additional months, without paying.

Well, Steve, as promised, this is the first of many articles you’ll see on the web about yourself.  For those who want to observe the discussion, here it is:

Express Fuel Pumps – Walbro

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