A colleague just sent me the link to Ask Dr. Z, a (I hesitate to call it a blog since it doesn't have a running discussion) community site from the folks at the Chrysler Group. The design is great and the interactive demo is engaging. I liked Dr. Z right from the start. It's RSS enabled and tags just about everything. The goals is to provide a Q&A forum for Chrysler automotive products. Seems simple enough. Ask a question, get an answer. I'm not a Chrysler owner at the moment but it's nice to have another resource. I don't own a GM car either and still enjoy the FastLane blog.
Anyway, I did what you're supposed to do at Dr. Z, ask a question. Before it would take my question I had to fill in a form box that included name, address, email and phone number. That's a lot of info for a quick question about a car. I entered the info to give it a try. It's been about 15 minutes and I haven't received a response and I just checked my junk and spam email folders. The site did point me to questions similar to mine where I found my answer so I did get what I needed. In the end though, the registration process is a deterrent. I'd tell this to Chrysler if they were a client: keep the road as wide as possible for as long as possible. There is no need to impose processes, guidelines or rules that could stifle community growth. Make is easy. Don't give any excuses for not trying it. Don't make me give you my address, email and phone number so you can send a car brochure to me the next day. I came to the site. Be happy with that. If I come back and stick around for a while, guess what? I'll become a fan and maybe one day an advocate and maybe one day after that I'll become a customer.