Do Online Communities Affect Your Purchases?

The Chad

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EDIT: I would like this discussion to be less about me and my particular situation, but more like how the community as a whole here uses online resources and seeks out communities in relation to big ticket purchases (gaming consoles, cell phones, automobiles, spaceships, etc...). Would the type of people you encounter and whether you like them or not affect your view or opinion on the product you are purchasing or the location in which you are purchasing it?

Alright, so I'm quite fond of the Final Gear community. I may not always be of the same opinions of the moderation staff, but the rules are enforced and the conversation is civil.

If you are following me you know I'm in the market for a car that's a bit more practical, a bit less expensive, and a bit more comfortable as a replacement to my Honda S2000.

So where do I go to get information about the possibilities? The online forums. In researching the possibility of buying a Cobalt SS turbo (260hp is nice, FWD is not, torque steer is not, and being a GM is not, but it's a nice drive all things considered). So I visit their website.

Edit: Links and related information removed. I'm not trying to single out a particular person or website, but rather the type of people generally encountered on a fanatic website.

I come across several threads and posts that make me think "Oh my, what is going on these days?"

My question to you. Would you buy something big, like a car, if you didn't like the community around it's ownership? Would you potentially choose a different brand based on "cocks" and other people who buy it? General thoughts?
 
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cvrefugee

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The Scion forums are full of retards, but every once in awhile you find some informative posts or members. I would lurk at the least.
 

The Chad

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I know it's the whole "buy what you want" type of situation, and who cares who else buys the stuff. But do people have limits? I guess it's just a fanboy phenomenon but I'm assuming some people have their limits.

I guess it would be helpful to understand my large purchase format. If I find something kind of expensive I want to buy, I research the hell out of it and consume as much information as I can about it. Also, I don't care what other people think of me. But weeding through so much crap can be a turnoff in some situations.

Like when the iPhone first shipped, you had the fanboys and the haters, and no really useful information. Same with the PS3 launch and the Xbox 360 launch. But could the fanboys and haters frustrate you out of a purchase?
 

bartboy9891

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You are judging the Cobalt SS community based on one member, I'm sure there are many members on that site you can easily get along with.

But to answer your question, I couldn't care less about what other owners are like. However, I would be more reassured if the certain car I was looking to buy had a strong following. That way I could consult others on common problems and complaints etc.
 

BigDaveDogg

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My buddy Mike is a big poster on css.net (07 ss/sc on both forums) and he is always linking me to stupid shit css.net's members that they post up. He tries to maintain a good reputation on that forum so he makes mostly useful posts, while I come in and tell it like it is. If you search my username in the member's list you can see my 100 something posts of owning noobs. Most of those guys over there make me lol.

Overall though, I wouldn't let a community decide whether or not you want to purchase a certain car. It'll be your car, your money, buy what you want. If you're worried about the image, you might want to be a little more self-confident.
 

Zuhaib

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All forums are filled with some retards, some more then others. An example with VW forums, vwvortex is just troll infested, and gets made fun of at other VW forums (like Passatworld where I used to hang out at).

So a online community is not something I would use as the be all and end all when it comes to making a discussion on buying something. As for a car, maybe the whole over all community, like I know I get a bit turned away from BMW just because of its image of its drivers. But just because a forum is filled with a bunch of trolls means nothing to me as the Internet brings out the worst of man.

For me they are best as an information resource and sometimes they become a great place to hang out. I hanged out a lot at Passatworld even after I did not have the Passat anymore, and I used to be pretty active over at a few Harley forums. They are just good for info, and maybe give you an idea what type of group of owners they are but not the whole picture.

(OT but I can tell you with the Cobalt SS turbo crowed you are going to be looking at a group of young white men who dont want to own something Jap but love Rice =P Get a GTI and be happy =D)
 

The Chad

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My buddy Mike is a big poster on css.net (07 ss/sc on both forums) and he is always linking me to stupid shit css.net's members that they post up. He tries to maintain a good reputation on that forum so he makes mostly useful posts, while I come in and tell it like it is. If you search my username in the member's list you can see my 100 something posts of owning noobs. Most of those guys over there make me lol.

Overall though, I wouldn't let a community decide whether or not you want to purchase a certain car. It'll be your car, your money, buy what you want. If you're worried about the image, you might want to be a little more self-confident.
Nah, I'm not worried about how I'll look to other people. I guess it's more of me not being able to identify with that particular crowd. This product is geared towards a particular person that I apparently am not that person. Maybe that's why I am second guessing potential decisions when it comes to this.

I have no problem with buying what I want and not giving a fuck what others think, but maybe the community is an indication that the product is not for me? It'd be like buying a house in a neighborhood where you don't like the neighbors or going to a college and not liking the environment.

All forums are filled with some retards, some more then others. An example with VW forums, vwvortex is just troll infested, and gets made fun of at other VW forums (like Passatworld where I used to hang out at).

So a online community is not something I would use as the be all and end all when it comes to making a discussion on buying something. As for a car, maybe the whole over all community, like I know I get a bit turned away from BMW just because of its image of its drivers. But just because a forum is filled with a bunch of trolls means nothing to me as the Internet brings out the worst of man.

For me they are best as an information resource and sometimes they become a great place to hang out. I hanged out a lot at Passatworld even after I did not have the Passat anymore, and I used to be pretty active over at a few Harley forums. They are just good for info, and maybe give you an idea what type of group of owners they are but not the whole picture.

(OT but I can tell you with the Cobalt SS turbo crowed you are going to be looking at a group of young white men who dont want to own something Jap but love Rice =P Get a GTI and be happy =D)
GTI is on the short list, along with the .:R32. I'd have to get a Vag-Com though straight away. HIDs as DRLs is retarded.
 
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toma_alimosh

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Alright, so I'm quite fond of the Final Gear community. I may not always be of the same opinions of the moderation staff, but the rules are enforced and the conversation is civil.

If you are following me you know I'm in the market for a car that's a bit more practical, a bit less expensive, and a bit more comfortable as a replacement to my Honda S2000.

So where do I go to get information about the possibilities? The online forums. In researching the possibility of buying a Cobalt SS turbo (260hp is nice, FWD is not, torque steer is not, and being a GM is not, but it's a nice drive all things considered). So I visit their website.

I come across this thread: http://cobaltss.net/forums/showthread.php?t=121661

I know there's at least one SS owner on this forum, so I'm sure he's aware of these types of posts on this site. Anyway, my screen name on there is the same as here "The Chad". Am I wrong to think this thread is stupid? I did post some intelligent "troll bait" I guess, but I couldn't read that thread, and then this thread: http://cobaltss.net/forums/showthread.php?t=120661 without being completely shocked and concerned.



That's his last insult of me, even though I didn't attack him personally.

So this leads me to this train of thought. I'd be afraid to buy this car, not because of the car, but because of the community around it. I guess people get their impressions of BMW owners through the E90Post.com type of people.

My question to you. Would you buy something big, like a car, if you didn't like the community around it's ownership? Would you potentially choose a different brand based on "cocks" and other people who buy it? General thoughts?
First off, whether I buy a good, personally, would depend most on what its value for me is.
In truth, the purchase decision that a person makes depends on a lot of things according to marketing theory. One would be the opinions of the people that surround you, in order of their importance. Because every time you buy a good, even though it might not cross your mind at the time, you're making a lifestyle choice, whether it be buying rice at the supermarket or, in your case, buying a car. And the purchases that you do make and are apparent to other people will surely make these people form an opinion about you. Based on their own experiences with people that have bought the same goods, or whatever people have told them about purchasers of said product, they will form that opinion about you ... whether it is a founded opinion or not. The fact that they will form a mental image of you will affect future interactions with them, and for people social needs, from most studies seem to be not much higher on the ladder than survival and security needs. Logic, since most people find

So the opinions of friends, colleagues, relatives, the opposite sex, etc. do matter in the purchase decision. To some it matters less than to others, but it still matters. The order of importance of the people who have the most influence on your decision differs from one person to the next, but it mostly starts off with family, goes to friends, relatives, acquaintances, strangers, etc.

But what's in question here is other people's opinion of you based on a stereotype of purchasers of a certain good or service. Again, these stereotypes are not formed by a single person who had an experience of some sort with the said purchaser, but by repeat experiences of different people and is propagated once a good number of opinions match each other.

But what you're talking about here is an internet forum which is dedicated to a very specific product and is populated mainly by members who own the said product. Here's the popular stereotypes that run about the people who frequent those kinds of forums:

1. They love their purchased good much more than the value it brings the average person. For them, in this case, the car is not a car anymore. It is "their baby". They will spend hours on end with their car neglecting other aspects of their lives without looking back even once.

2. They are fanaticals. These people are usually very stubborn, especially when it comes to defending the image of their treasured good. For them, there is nothing better than the Cobalt SS and there will never be. Whether the evidence against it is objective or subjective, they will never stop arguing against it until your opinion matches theirs.

3. They like to sit in a special "social club" with their own special friends who all own that certain product and spend their time boating its quality and discussing why others really aren't so much into it and how pathetic others that don't own the said good are. Yes, it's as bad as a damn country club.

Fortunately for you, the number of members of the online forums pales in comparison to the number of owners of the car, so they don't quite matter in the public opinions. They are wienners by nature, and people dismiss them as such.

My question to you is:
Why would you frequent that forum anyway? Even if you did own that certain car. Do you want to "belong in a certain club"? Or do you just want to get some advice here and there about how to fix that thing in your car, or whether your new amp will work with the car? It's not like the cobalt SS is some exclusive car that most people can't find or can't afford, so there's no "Cobalts of America Club" or something.

I don't get why people get into such fallacies as "Oh my, he has the same car as me, so we must have something in common." It's like people parking next to you in the supermarket parkinglot because they have the same brand car. Those people are as bad as the annoying colleague in highschool that you had to do a small school project with and who won't stop trying to hang out with you however long it has been since the project has finished and you have made it quite clear that you're not very eager to hang out with them. So what if you too drive a toyota corola? It used to be my fathers ... my, you and my father must also have a lot in common. Hmm, now that I think of it, don't you work for the same employer as me and shop from the same brands of clothes? :rolleyes:

It's a damn car, what tool would make a web forum for a SPECIFIC car? Not a specific brand, not a specific type of car (sedan, SUV, etc.), but about a SPECIFIC car. Sure, I own stuff too. I have a nice Motorola RAZR V3 phone. And I love it. It has worked fine for me since I've had it. I never got a single complaint from people that I have an "ugly phone" and it has proven to be quite reliable. In essence, I love it. But I'm not going to start a motorola-razr-V3-with-the-canadian-anthem-for-a-ringtone.com forum. I may go to the motorola website and browse through their forums if I need some info about the phone, but that's it. And even if I did own a car, I wouldn't go for my answer to i-own-a-mazda-6-with-a-yellow-interior.com.

Why did you even visit that forum in the first place?
 

Zuhaib

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GTI is on the short list, along with the .:R32. I'd have to get a Vag-Com though straight away. HIDs as DRLs is retarded.
or you can go to http://golfmkv.com/forums/ and ask anyone in your local area with a VAG-Com to hook you up and turn it off for you. Another list is this http://vag-tool.kicks-ass.net/ which list VAG-COM owners.
When I had my passat I had a a mini gtg where a few of us with auto tranny tested the "tech mode" which let you get sport mode and shift past red line with no fault code :)
And after that i had my own VAG-Com and twice have went out to guys to help them get things done with it before it went out of date and lost the software =\

The cost for me usually was root beer so yeah =P
 

stevanford1

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People don't like being insulted. I am thinking the first post you made insulted him.

"Ooooh, I want anonymous people on the internet to make expensive decisions for me!

Grow up."
 

The Chad

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Why did you even visit that forum in the first place?
This is EXACTLY the type of conversation I was looking to have with this thread. I will address your last question first.

Most automotive review sites and magazines just spew out the same information that is generally created by a press release without any real evaluation or review of the product.

I am also a little OCD when it comes to certain things, and I like to observe information about how things work with a particular product, along with any problems or difficulties someone might have with owning that product.

So that is how I found the site. Granted, I primarily lurk there, and only participated in the discussion because I felt like starting a ruckus.

1. They love their purchased good much more than the value it brings the average person. For them, in this case, the car is not a car anymore. It is "their baby". They will spend hours on end with their car neglecting other aspects of their lives without looking back even once.

2. They are fanaticals. These people are usually very stubborn, especially when it comes to defending the image of their treasured good. For them, there is nothing better than the Cobalt SS and there will never be. Whether the evidence against it is objective or subjective, they will never stop arguing against it until your opinion matches theirs.

3. They like to sit in a special "social club" with their own special friends who all own that certain product and spend their time boating its quality and discussing why others really aren't so much into it and how pathetic others that don't own the said good are. Yes, it's as bad as a damn country club.

Fortunately for you, the number of members of the online forums pales in comparison to the number of owners of the car, so they don't quite matter in the public opinions. They are wienners by nature, and people dismiss them as such.
1. Very true, couldn't agree with you more.
2. That comes with the fanboy-ism.
3. The country club reference is a good one. I do believe that at a certain price point (it varies per person), you encounter people who have more pride in what they purchased. They think that their purchase entitles them to certain privileges and should make them friends with others who have similar thoughts about purchasing the same thing. Not too many people buy S2000s, for example, so logically you'd assume I'd have somewhat similar tastes in cars when comparing myself with another owner of the same type of car.

Would I frequent a car specific forum and participate after buying that car? No, I would lurk, like I have done for as long as I've had the internet. But tonight I just couldn't help but put some extra thought into this as I browsed the internet and I thought I'd pose it to you guys (which is one of the few forums I actually post on).

Granted though, with your logic, we are all in a club based on our liking of a particular car television program. Are we any different here?

Thank you for the long, thoughtful post too. This is the type of discussion I was really looking forward to having.
 

The Chad

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People don't like being insulted. I am thinking the first post you made insulted him.

"Ooooh, I want anonymous people on the internet to make expensive decisions for me!

Grow up."
Sure, I was trying to get his attention and make a point. I was more-than-likely trying to be a troll because I felt extremely compelled at that moment to go there with that conversation.

I'm sure people on this board would view this post and think I'm retarded, and I'm sure someone will tell me that I am. I'm okay with that. I'm not making this post because I want to point out one particular person or one particular website. I just seem to think this is an on-going trend as more people get connected.

But on the subject of colors. If I took a random sampling of everyone's favorite color on Final Gear, I highly doubt that there would be any one particular color favored over another.
 

toma_alimosh

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Granted though, with your logic, we are all in a club based on our liking of a particular car television program. Are we any different here?
Well, this site is not exactly made for a certain television program. Instead, it is formed as a community for those who enjoy good quality car programmes and cars in general.

Sure, the front page has pictures of "Top Gear" and "Fifth Gear" on its front page, as those are the two programmes that are most watched by members here. But those are not the only two that members discuss here. As I recall, Initial D came up at some point and a few others, I can't remember them ...

But the website is not named after a show in particular. It's not TopGearLodge.com ... it's not FifthGearFanClub.net ... instead it's FinalGear.com. It takes no name from the shows and does not focus on a single one. Its name may have been inspired by the idea that started it all: a place on the internet where someone outside the UK can see these amazing shows, but the community has not been formed because of that. The forum is in fact quite different from the front page that every person looking for their "Top Gear fix" visits every sunday night. In fact, the forum is older than the website. Finalgear.com was here before it even began. It actually started out with a hefty member count and with lots of members who already knew each other very well. (No, I was not one of those people, I was but a beginner(lurker/newbie) on Viper's personal forums which grew into the Finalgear forums.)

And to add to that, I can't remember the last time that I've even visited the "Shows" or "General Automotive" sections. The only sections that I really frequent these days are "Off-topic", "Technology", "Entertainment" and "Forums" ... I almost never read anything posted somewhere else. So my personal motives for coming to this site has very little to do with the shows I love these days. Quite interesting that you brought that up, I never realized it happened.

I do admit that at first I came here to find out news about the shows, to leech on torrents (yes, I first learned about torrents and how to use them through this community) and I also came to discuss the shows and find the latest gossip about it, of most general interest were the questions: "Who is the Stig?" and "When does the new season start?". But most people came here and still come here for information, not because they wanted to boast about how special they are because they watch foreign car programs.

But what draws me to these forums now, are the interpersonal relations that I've developed with members here. And I believe that most prominent members of this community will agree with me that they visit these forums often more because they want to know what some of their friends said rather than wanting to know the author and title of that nice song in that so-and-so episode. I've been here on this community and most of us have been there for each other, through the good and through the bad. They've helped me with many things and I hope I've been as much help and support for them over the years.

And for god's sake, just because I get a bit touchy-feely sometimes, that doesn't mean that you guys can post the "Group Hug" picture, but I won't hold it against you either, I've done it to you a hundred times, so I might as well be on the receiving end. Especially with such a gay post. :mrgreen:
 

Zuhaib

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Talk about a thread taking a left turn out of nowhere...
First I dont know why people are getting so worked up over what I think is a legitimate question these days. That is what the does the online community play in to decision making. And it does, but maybe car forums are not the best example of that, but there is a lot more. If you hang out at any forum, blog, mico blog or any other web 1.0/2.0/3.0/4.0+ site you will always get the "should I buy xyz" thread. Hell Slashdot does from time to time.
People like to hang out around things they like, and have in common. This happens in real life and online. Online or offline, it matters to some. Maybe you dont fit in that mold, but a lot of people do. And these things existed long before the Internet was around. You have automotive clubs, and within them they sometimes had certain makes and model comes among themselves as small networks. A good example of one with very little Internet ties is HOG, Harley Owners Group, and before them you had all the MC (Not just the 1%er's). And even beyond that is just the perceived Harley brotherhood that comes with owning a Harley. While some think Harleys social allure that surrounds it at times almost kills off what true Harley ownership really is about it is part of what is the pull that is HD. Yeah maybe Japs make a better bike, but damn It going down the road I want to be seen on a Harley. And I dont think I am the only one.

While its hard to figure out what you are ranting about, the fact The Chad was thinking about buying a car because of how the community of a car is online or the fact that such an community exist baffles me as to what does it have to do with the OP. To me the OP had more of a tone that "I want this car but its community sucks" which actually is kind of true for a lot of things at times. There is a 49ners forum that is spun off from the "official" one because we all think the official one is filled with dumb asses that just follow what the Coach and the team wants us to think that we are all fine. So my suggestion was if you are really in to the car go for it, and just use the community as an info source. But having a strong online community might have its perks.

Like my post earlier for VW owners that if you need to get some work done on your car people are willing for free (or near free) to come out and scan your car with a VAG-COM. So while you might see for a reason to exist they do server a purpose, if not just for piratical reasons its for someones ego. And thats fine by me.

As for this site, well I came to this site for Top Gear many years ago, and while yes it was on Vipers personal site I think for the most part what drew most of the users was for TG and a bit for 5th Gear. As for the name, it has nothing to do with it (I think it was a poll about at the "holding forum" whos name i forget because my memory is shit) but this site, at lest for me, was about Top Gear 1st and automotive 2nd. Yeah now its a community more then that to me, but, just take a look at where most of the people post and what they come here for. Top Gear. This is a club site, that just has grown out from that like any other great online waterhole.
 

katwalk

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thread examples from NewBeetle.org under "The New Beetle Experience"

Wow...I got a wave today!!! < thread about NB drivers waving when they see eachother

Go to first new post Carloads of screaming girls and paparazzi-like experiences < thread about, well girls being excited to see car

Sunday Drive < thread about enjoying the cars

parking with other NB's < thread about joy from seeing smiley cars all lined up in a row

Birth certificate for NBs < VW lets you order birth certificates for bugs. Yes I have one I'm that insane.

Whose New Beetle makes them smile? < everyone giddy over their bugs

Summery: new beetles drivers are insane, think their cars are people, and are ridiculously happy due to said cars

also here is a rather recent post when someone asks why to buy a bug and everyone convinces him too, he is then filled with the fluffy joy feeling that comes with the car: http://newbeetle.org/forums/showthread.php?t=29136 :lol:
 

Ice_warmer

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yeah, i always ask on several forums questions about what stuff to buy, you may encounter people that lack an occupation and tell you all sorts of stuff to screw you up, but that's a small percentage and if you add all the answers recived you probably will take the best thing you wanted to buy if you have been specific with what you wanna buy,
but when i'm going to look for a car i ussualy buy lots of car magazines and ask on the net about reliability or something hidden from an untrained eye, i narrow the list and go for test drives, anyway good luck :p
 

NooDle

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Generally no.

You've just said why yourself : the people in those forums are convinced that their car, whatever it is, is perfection. it's their little baby and they shoot you in the face if you dare say anything like "It's ugly"

I do browse such forums occasionally, but mostly to see if many people have problems and stuff, before deciding a car is reliable or not. It's always nice to have the first hand reaction of an owner, because generally they know what they're talking about if they say something like "get xxx checked at your 50k miles service because it tends to die after that mileage" or "tyre wear is very bad at the rear for this car"
 

The Chad

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Well, this site is not exactly made for a certain television program. Instead, it is formed as a community for those who enjoy good quality car programmes and cars in general.

...

And for god's sake, just because I get a bit touchy-feely sometimes, that doesn't mean that you guys can post the "Group Hug" picture, but I won't hold it against you either, I've done it to you a hundred times, so I might as well be on the receiving end. Especially with such a gay post. :mrgreen:
:lol:

I definitely can see where you are coming from in regards to this site not being the targeted specialty that a specific car forum would be targeted towards. However, I believe that this site is different not because of it's generality (even though I believe this site is pretty focused), but rather because of the people who post and participate here.

I've also noticed in my years of browsing the internet, that off-topic areas of sites tend to develop their own sub-culture or community themselves. Also, yes, I can see that a lot of people have made the transition from wanting to know information to being able to socialize with people they have become friends with.

But I humbly submit that you didn't just stumble upon this site early on, but rather found it when searching for something else. Communities are started when people find each other, then start interacting with each other. Whether or not it is online it is irrelevant. The friends you have here all found each other through this medium.

Talk about a thread taking a left turn out of nowhere...
First I dont know why people are getting so worked up over what I think is a legitimate question these days. That is what the does the online community play in to decision making. And it does, but maybe car forums are not the best example of that, but there is a lot more. If you hang out at any forum, blog, mico blog or any other web 1.0/2.0/3.0/4.0+ site you will always get the "should I buy xyz" thread. Hell Slashdot does from time to time.
People like to hang out around things they like, and have in common. This happens in real life and online. Online or offline, it matters to some. Maybe you dont fit in that mold, but a lot of people do. And these things existed long before the Internet was around. You have automotive clubs, and within them they sometimes had certain makes and model comes among themselves as small networks. A good example of one with very little Internet ties is HOG, Harley Owners Group, and before them you had all the MC (Not just the 1%er's). And even beyond that is just the perceived Harley brotherhood that comes with owning a Harley. While some think Harleys social allure that surrounds it at times almost kills off what true Harley ownership really is about it is part of what is the pull that is HD. Yeah maybe Japs make a better bike, but damn It going down the road I want to be seen on a Harley. And I dont think I am the only one.

While its hard to figure out what you are ranting about, the fact The Chad was thinking about buying a car because of how the community of a car is online or the fact that such an community exist baffles me as to what does it have to do with the OP. To me the OP had more of a tone that "I want this car but its community sucks" which actually is kind of true for a lot of things at times. There is a 49ners forum that is spun off from the "official" one because we all think the official one is filled with dumb asses that just follow what the Coach and the team wants us to think that we are all fine. So my suggestion was if you are really in to the car go for it, and just use the community as an info source. But having a strong online community might have its perks.

Like my post earlier for VW owners that if you need to get some work done on your car people are willing for free (or near free) to come out and scan your car with a VAG-COM. So while you might see for a reason to exist they do server a purpose, if not just for piratical reasons its for someones ego. And thats fine by me.

As for this site, well I came to this site for Top Gear many years ago, and while yes it was on Vipers personal site I think for the most part what drew most of the users was for TG and a bit for 5th Gear. As for the name, it has nothing to do with it (I think it was a poll about at the "holding forum" whos name i forget because my memory is shit) but this site, at lest for me, was about Top Gear 1st and automotive 2nd. Yeah now its a community more then that to me, but, just take a look at where most of the people post and what they come here for. Top Gear. This is a club site, that just has grown out from that like any other great online waterhole.
You are definitely more on the "same page" with me about why I posted this thread and why I might be apprehensive about my upcoming purchase. I guess I posted this because I wanted to see what other like-minded people thought about the issue to see if maybe I'm just a bit crazy and maybe out of touch with the mainstream.

But what irritated me last night was the number of "what color should I get?" posts. I mean c'mon, asking "should I buy this?" is a somewhat reasonable question, even though you are going to get a biased answer. It'd be like going on a VW forum and asking "should I buy a VW?" Everyone will answer "yes"! (Except for maybe the guy who's R32 caught on fire).

But "What color should I get?" is a completely asinine question, because multiple colors are offered because people have different tastes. "You can have any color as long as it's black." isn't par-for-the-course these days. And why the heck would you base your opinion on a color with what a bunch of people tell you you should get?

Slightly OT: The VW is not out of the question. We'll see when it actually gets a bit nearer to the time of purchase.

thread examples from NewBeetle.org under "The New Beetle Experience"

Wow...I got a wave today!!! < thread about NB drivers waving when they see eachother

Go to first new post Carloads of screaming girls and paparazzi-like experiences < thread about, well girls being excited to see car

Sunday Drive < thread about enjoying the cars

parking with other NB's < thread about joy from seeing smiley cars all lined up in a row

Birth certificate for NBs < VW lets you order birth certificates for bugs. Yes I have one I'm that insane.

Whose New Beetle makes them smile? < everyone giddy over their bugs

Summery: new beetles drivers are insane, think their cars are people, and are ridiculously happy due to said cars

also here is a rather recent post when someone asks why to buy a bug and everyone convinces him too, he is then filled with the fluffy joy feeling that comes with the car: http://newbeetle.org/forums/showthread.php?t=29136 :lol:
n00bs excited about their purchases I guess I can understand. I mean if you spend your hard-earned money on something and it makes you happy, no reason why you cannot talk about it.

I know a current Beetle driver who talks about her car in the slightly insane way. I generally like her so I tolerate her drabble, but if she ever told me she thought her car was a person I'd probably start laughing uncontrollably. I know people name cars, but actually thinking it's alive (and having sex with it: http://forums.finalgear.com/general-automotive/man-loves-his-volkswagen-28391/) is a bit extreme. :mrgreen:

yeah, i always ask on several forums questions about what stuff to buy, you may encounter people that lack an occupation and tell you all sorts of stuff to screw you up, but that's a small percentage and if you add all the answers recived you probably will take the best thing you wanted to buy if you have been specific with what you wanna buy,
but when i'm going to look for a car i ussualy buy lots of car magazines and ask on the net about reliability or something hidden from an untrained eye, i narrow the list and go for test drives, anyway good luck :p
Test driving is the best way to go, I agree. The car magazines, especially the ones sold here, are rubbish though. They tend to be one pagers that talk about some things, and those things are repeated in other magazines. Then personal opinion gets repeated as fact, and you aren't any better off than you were before you spent the $50 on magazine purchases.

Generally no.

You've just said why yourself : the people in those forums are convinced that their car, whatever it is, is perfection. it's their little baby and they shoot you in the face if you dare say anything like "It's ugly"

I do browse such forums occasionally, but mostly to see if many people have problems and stuff, before deciding a car is reliable or not. It's always nice to have the first hand reaction of an owner, because generally they know what they're talking about if they say something like "get xxx checked at your 50k miles service because it tends to die after that mileage" or "tyre wear is very bad at the rear for this car"
Which is why I visit the forums of something like a car before purchase, and why I'll lurk through the posts. But you can only lurk for so long before getting irritated and then log-off (or post what's on your mind). But there is value in viewing those sites, because even though people don't post when everything is okay, they will post when something's wrong. As long as you keep that in context, online communities can be useful I think.
 
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katwalk

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I know a current Beetle driver who talks about her car in the slightly insane way. I generally like her so I tolerate her drabble, but if she ever told me she thought her car was a person I'd probably start laughing uncontrollably. I know people name cars, but actually thinking it's alive (and having sex with it: http://forums.finalgear.com/general-automotive/man-loves-his-volkswagen-28391/) is a bit extreme. :mrgreen:
Beetles will play tricks on you. Herbie syndrome :lol:. After awhile you begin to wonder if the car is doing things on purpose.
 
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