Auto enthusiasts are extremely proud of their automobiles. Once they've acquired their dream car, drivers pour time, effort and money into maintaining it. The wheels, windshields and body panels are usually shiny and sleek, and weekends are mostly reserved for cleaning the car inside and out.
But auto enthusiasts don't just maintain their cars -- they improve on them. Customization is a big part of the auto fan's interest. Upgrades to engine performance and efficiency can make an already powerful car even more impressive, and changes to both the interior and exterior can provide personality. The point is to show off character, and the more unique a car becomes, the better it is in the eyes of the owner.
Sure, drivers can pester neighbors, calling them over in the middle of some difficult yard work to boast and brag about the new paint job, or they can discuss the finer points of horsepower and sound systems with friends. But after everyone within a five-mile radius has memorized your car's top speed or learned how your new suspension system works, who else can you show it off to?
Fortunately, the Internet is the perfect place for a car enthusiast, and with social networking Web sites and online communities growing more and more popular by the day it's becoming easier for people to share their common interests amongst each other. Web sites like Flickr, for instance, let people show off their best photography work and organize albums dedicated to vacations or just everyday snapshots.
There's also a bevy of sites dedicated to the automobile, with writers blogging about the latest concept car or new hybrid technology; however, one site, CarDomain.com, is meant strictly for showing off. Anyone with an interest in cars and a lot of pride in his or her own vehicle can join the site to share photos and tell stories with other auto enthusiasts -- and like Flickr, it's mostly based on uploading photos.
Keep reading to learn more about CarDomain.
Like most social networking Web sites, CarDomain requires you to register and create an account in order to keep a profile and share photos. The information you have to give is typical of most social networking sites: first name, last name, your e-mail address, year of birth, gender, your country, state, city and ZIP code and a special member ID and password that you'll use on the site.
Once you're logged in and ready to go, you can start creating a custom ride page and upload photos and even video of your car. To do this, members enter the Member Lobby. CarDomain categorizes its photos by vehicle makes, and there should be a list of these cars in the lobby. If you own a Volkswagen Jetta, for instance, and wanted to add pictures of it to your ride page, you would select that specific make from the list.
Once you've found your vehicle, the site offers up an image manager in the top center of the page. A browser button opens up a new window and allows you to search through your hard drive for images -- it works the same way as album building tools do for Flickr or Facebook. After you find the images you'd like to post, simply press "Upload Image" and the Internet server will transfer your data onto the site.
Still, there's one more step -- members can choose how the uploaded images will appear on their profile page, and it's a necessary step to make sure the right ones show up. This works much like a simplified version of profile pages on MySpace. After uploading, you can click on the "Add Picture" button. The photos you've uploaded will show up as thumbnails with corresponding numbers. Members can then type in the number for the picture they'd like to appear. Entering the words "left," "right" or "center" will tell the site where the pictures will end up on the page. Of course, users can also delete unwanted pictures if they wish.
So, those are the basics of CarDomain, but are there even more benefits to using it?
Benefits of CarDomain
Of course, CarDomain is more than just a place to post photos and video -- it's also a place for auto enthusiasts to come together and gush about their favorite cars and show off their own, too. Whether it's good looks or impressive performance, everyone has his or her own unique position in the car world, and an online community makes it easy to share information quickly and over a broad range.
Once a member profile is set up, users can not only look at other users' cars; they can also comment on the vehicles and take part in discussions. There are also various groups members can join if they want to weigh in on a specific topic and find others with similar interests. For instance, are you loyal to a specific carmaker, like Ford or Cadillac? Maybe you're really into classic Japanese cars or American muscle cars? There's probably a group for you.
There are also fun perks that are run by the CarDomain staff. For instance, there's the Showoff of the Week -- a winner chosen for the most impressive pictures. And since users can rate each other's photos, there's a constantly rotating top 25. Every Wednesday night the CarDomain staff takes a look at the top 25 and selects the best member photos -- uniqueness, aesthetics and profile page helpfulness are all taken into account when the winner is selected.
CarDomain runs a blog, too, and there's also event coverage, organized by the CarDomain staff and by the members themselves. With cell phones and digital cameras easy to come by (and easy to use), anyone can go to a car show, snap a few pictures and submit them to the site for instant event coverage. CarDomain doesn't just allow users to cover shows -- they actually encourage it, whether it's a major auto show or simply a neighborhood gathering.
For lots more information about cars, social networking and everything else that moves fast, follow the links on the next page.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- CarDomain.net. "About us." (June 12, 2009) http://www.cardomain.net/
- CarDomain.com. "Frequently Asked Questions." (June 9, 2009) http://www.cardomain.com/features/faq