Back in April, the Western Automotive Journalists association had a Media Days event which involves getting manufacturers to send over all the cars that auto journalists love, allowing them to drive those cars on the Monterey backroads and then at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for brief periods of time in each car. (Putting “Mazda Raceway” in front of Laguna Seca is a must if you want road test Mazdas.)
Now most attendees use the event to network with automaker PR people, attempt to cajole them into giving them a press car for a week, and somehow be invited to those manufacturer press junkets that occur with the launch of a significant new model. (I’m no exception, by the way.) The cars are there to make sure auto writers have a favorable impression of the brand. Most people there don’t feel the need to write about them, because they spend at the absolute most, 45 minutes, inside of them.
That, I think, is a travesty, because the automakers went to great lengths to make sure people like me to make sure their products receive all the publicity they can possibly get from a group of part-time (the only way to “make it” in auto journalism from what I’ve been told) auto writers.
So, in an attempt to seem both edgy and hip (and ensure I have material for Clunkerture), I’ve decided to try a new way of reviewing each of the cars that I, at most, drove for about 20 minutes each. It involves limiting my driving impressions of each car I drove to 140 characters. Yes, that means I’m essentially using Twitter to review a car, something Jack Dorsey probably never anticipated.
Every hour or so, I’m going to post a tweet with an impression of a car I drove during the WAJ Media Days event. After I’ve done all the car impression tweets, I’ll compile them into a new blog post on Clunkerture so you don’t have to scroll through every impression on your Twitter home feed or spend too much time on my Twitter page. I will not be attaching photos because a) the link takes away the characters I have available (also the reason I haven’t bothered with a hashtag for the whole thing) and b) I don’t have photos of all the cars I drove.
And please, tell me in the comments section (or at clunkerture AT gmail.com or tweet at me) what you think of this experiment. Because I’m hoping it’ll be the most productive use of Twitter ever. More importantly, it means I can write a driving impression from my phone while trying to beat those Gran Turismo 6 seasonal events.