Adam’s Auto Advice Turns 2 Years-Old Today Along With This 200th Post!

Me and My Dog Cody!

I thought I would share an important milestone with all the fans and readers of my humble blog, Adam's Auto Advice. This blog is now 2 years-old as of today.  Happy Birthday… to myself I guess! 🙂

It's amazing to think that my blog is 2 years old! Honestly it feels like I have been blogging and writing about cars forever, but it really has not been that long.

I look back at all the amazing posts and articles I have written. The articles and posts range from the fun and whacky Charm City Pedal Mill, the interesting Baltimore start-up ParkingPanda, attending the Baltimore Grand Prix, and breaking news about RelayRides. I have even tested automotive products and gone to a few car and auto shows.

Probably the best thing I have written about on this blog was my road trip from Irvine, CA to back to Baltimore.  It was an amazing trip and I hope to do many more road trips and a cross-country road trip again soon.

You know, I started this blog and didn't have set high hopes for my writing but look at me now! I am a full time auto journalist and blogger. I was able to go from writing as a hobby to writing about cars professionally.

Looking back at my first post, and some of my early writing such as this Top Gear editorial my writing has come a long way and fast. I am fortunate to be able to be doing something creative and love what I am doing.

I feel proud of everything I have been accomplished with this blog and other writing I have done.

As well sharing my experience when I appeared on Anderson with Anderson Cooper for the TV show's New Year's Special. I performed “Auld Lange Syne” with my singing dogs, Cody and Sierra, which was an amazing experience which I shared on this blog. (Of course it had nothing to do with cars, but I did drive up to New York-City with my dogs.)

I am glad to have had all these interesting and varied experiences. I hope to share more auto news, advice, tips & tricks, product reviews, with everyone via Adam's Auto Advice. I know I will continue to grow and experience more amazing automotive experiences in the future.

I also appreciate all the people with a shared passion for cars I have meet along my journey. We have exchanged web advice, writing tips, and personal stories of “Auto Awesomeness!”

Someone who deserves credit for my blog is my brother Jason. He helped me get this blog up and running and switch from Blogger to WordPress. He's also helped keep this blog going and updated. Thanks Jason!

I certainly have not crossed everything off on my automotive bucket list. I know I have a lot more great experiences ahead of me.

This is actually my 200th post! I didn't plan that, but it is a happy coincidence.  There will be hundreds of more great articles and posts along the way. I am going to make an effort to post more and most likely shorter articles in the future.

I hope all of you continue to follow my writing and work. Please Follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest to keep updated.

I look forwarding to writing about cars and on this blog for many more years.

Win One of Eleven Free 1-Year Subscriptions to Motor Trend from Adam’s Auto Advice

Win a Motor Trend Subscriptions!

Following the success of my Baltimore Auto Show ticket giveaway (and the marginal success of my carseat giveaway) I have decided to do another giveaway.  What am I giving away?  A total of Eleven Free 1-Year Subscriptions to Motor Trend magazine!  That is a $50 value that you can get for free!  Sounds awesome, right?

What do you need to do to win a Free Subscription?  It is as simple as 2 mouse clicks.  A “Like” on Adam’s Auto Advice Faceboook page and a follow on my Twitter feed.  That's less than 3 seconds of work for enjoying a whole year of Motor Trend.

Well, you also must leave a comment below to inform me you are interested in winning a free Motor Trend subscription with a valid email address.  Please include funny car stories, adages or maxims, or just a fun reason why you need or want a Motor Trend subscription.  Still that isn't much work to enjoy a great publication all year long like Motor Trend.

For additional chances to win make sure to Share, Tweet, ReTweet, Email, etc. this Motor Trend giveaway.  If you noticed I have Shareholic installed on this website for easy sharing.  If you want to be even more ambitious you can become a Facebook Friend, add me to your Google+ Circle, and also include Adam’s Auto Advice Google+ Page.

I think you get the idea and this is similar to my ticket giveaway to the Baltimore Auto Show.  Follow me on social media to get a chance to win, but your chances increase the more social media platforms you follow and share me on.   Good luck and I hope there will be a lot of happy people getting these Motor Trend subscriptions!

Now for the nitty gritty of the contest.  Contest ends March 28th, 2012 and winners will be announced the following day via a post on Adam's Auto Advice.  Please allow 6-8 weeks for the first issue to arrive.  This giveaway is only open to residents in the US.  Each address or household is eligible for one subscription.  Adam's Auto Advice is not affiliated with Motor Trend or it's subsidiaries.  This website and the owner and operators are responsible for issues not being delivered or other crazy things that could happen with a magazine subscription.

Win Free Tickets to Baltimore’s 2012 Motor Trend International Auto Show – February 9th-12th

Free Tickets!

The 2012 Motor Trend International Auto Show will be heading into Baltimore this weekend.  I am sure there are a lot of gearheads that are excited about the Auto Show as well as eager consumers looking for a new car this year.

Like last year, Adam's Auto Advice is giving away tickets to the auto show.  This year I am giving away 10 free tickets!  All you need to do is “Like” Adam's Auto Advice Faceboook page and leave a comment below telling me why you deserve these free tickets.  People can include funny car stories, adages or maxims, or just a fun reason why you need a ticket.

For additional chances to win you can also follow my Twitter feed and make sure to Tweet and ReTweet this giveaway.  If you want to be even more ambitious you can become a Facebook Friend, add me to your Google+ Circle, and also include Adam's Auto Advice Google+ Page.

I think you get the idea.  Follow me on social media to get a chance to win, but your chances increase the more social media platforms you follow me on.  You can even increase the likelihood of winning these free tickets by leaving comments on these social media platforms and getting the word out about this giveaway.

Please leave a valid email address when you leave a comment below, so I can contact you if you do win.  The contest ends Thursday February 9th at 11am.  Again, there are 10 tickets in this giveaway.  I will choose the winners based off how much they have shared my content and shown the most enthusiasm for my promoting my website.  Winners can pick-up tickets or have them mailed.  However, I am not responsible for tickets lost in the mail or tickets arriving late via the USPS.

The 2012 Motor Trend International Auto Show will be held at the Baltimore Convention Center from February 9th-12th (Thursday-Sunday.)  For more information please visit:  http://www.motortrendautoshows.com/baltimore/

Need a Car Seat? Follow Me On Twitter!

Do you love Twitter?  Do you need a car seat for your small child? Then you are in luck!  The first Adam's Auto Advice Contest has officially begun.

I am looking to get over 1,000 Twitter Followers in 1 month.  If you help make that happen, then you could win a Graco Car Seat!

I won't just take into account Twitter followers, you also need to Retweet and Mention my blog.  Increase your chances of winning with a Facebook “Like”, Google+, Google Circle Add.  Hey if you like to use Digg, Delicious, StumpleUpon, etc. share my articles on there too.  Basically whoever shares my blog posts and articles the most will win.  Currently I am at 125 followers, so better get cracking.  Good Luck!

Graco Car Seat

If you want to win the Graco Car Seat, please email me with the subject “Win Graco Car Seat.”  I will then choose a winner who has clearly shared my contest the most.  If there are a few awesome people who have shared my content and shown a commitment to promoting Adam's Auto Advice, I will then randomly select the winner.  Car seat is rated for a small child up to 40 pounds.  Will ship to the lower 48.

 

 

Interview with Nick Miller Co-Founder & CEO of ParkingPanda – Part 3

This is Part 3 of my interview with Nick Miller, Co-Founder and CEO of ParkingPanda.  Click Part 1 and Part 2 for the whole interview.  If you did not see my article on ParkingPanda, check it out!

 

Nick Miller, Co-Founder & CEO

A: So you are looking for a big investment?

NM: We were in this tech accelerator, and the culmination of that was a demo day. All tech companies in the accelerator, we all gave 7-10 minutes pitches and demos to a room full of investors. In addition to all the people we were meeting with and talking to throughout the summer. That kicked off the process of, ok we are out here we are live now. Now we want to raise a little venture capitol to grow the business and expand. On day 1 we made money on our first transaction. We really need to be widespread to make a lot of money. So taking venture capitol will help us accelerate that process. So that's what we are in the process of doing right now.

A: Have you had a good amount of people interested in the business?

NM: Yeah, you know it's always a process and a time consuming thing of people digging into your business finding more about it, finding more about you. Your growth, and all of that stuff. It's going well so far. We are meeting with a lot of people interested in the idea and the space. Meeting with a lot of individual investors and venture capitalists. We are definitely hopeful, it continues to go well.

A: If I rent my space for $10, you guys take a 20% commission?

NM: Right, we take 20% and the rest goes directly to you.

A: You get a check?

NM: Right now we send you a check. We are working on integrating the ability to get PayPal payments or Direct Deposit payments in your bank account. So you will have the option to get whatever you want. If you want a check mailed to you, that's fine. If you want direct deposit in your bank account, that's fine as well. That 20% we take covers all the operating fees and credit card costs, all that maintenance. We want to keep that as low as we can, because we want the community to benefit from it. If people aren't making money on this, then we are not making money on this either.

A: How are you promoting and getting the word out about this?

NM: We love to talk to people like this. A lot of what we do is local focused, we want to build up Baltimore we want to build up DC. We go to commuter areas.  We talk to people, we go to football games, talk to people, pass out flyers.

A: So Guerrilla Marketing

NM: A lot of grassroots type guerrilla stuff, because buying Google Adwords for us, it's expensive and it's not relevant for us. Not too many people Google search “Where can I rent out my parking space?” not a big thing. Once you get out there and talk to people about it, they see the value of it. That's what really does it for us.

A: I assume you are trying to use Social Media?

NM: Of Course! Both Adam [Z] and I, and the company are on Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, everything. We encourage friends, people who use the service when you book space. “Hey I'm using this” or “Hey, I just made a bunch of money using this!” Particularly with our early users if you refer your friends or neighbors.

A: You get a discount?

NM: Right, you get a discount. So you know we really want to encourage people's friends to sign up. If they don't want their neighbors to sign up with the same spot, but maybe their friend on the other side of the city. The more spaces we have available the more we will focus on bringing people in. For most people with their parking spaces they have found money.  The Worst Case Scenario it's exactly the way it was before. The best case is you start making a bunch of cash on your driveway.

A: Since the Grand Prix, which was about a month ago, you have had no problems with people saying “Oh this person was causing problems in my parking space?”

NM: So far we haven't! We have built in as many things as possible, in our terms of service. We have backs-ups if there are any issues, we are there to handle them as quickly as possible. So far you know the community aspect of it naturally protects itself. It is bound to happen if we get big enough, there will be a bad experience for someone. We will do everything we can to protect from that.

A: Yeah, with Couchsurfing at first you think, “This is really weird. I don't know if I want to do this.” Then you try it out. You realize the community aspect does work itself out somehow.

NM: Even with Couchsurfing you can see if people have hosted before. We are building in reviews as well. You can see on both ends of the spectrum. So you can see this person has used our service 10 times and this person has 15 thumbs-up, it is a great space. A little thing goes a long way. Protecting people's reputation on the website. Providing that extra level of security.

A: Do you have anything else you want to tell me?

NM: I think we covered it! Working out of the accelerator with these other companies, our concept is simple. You can sit down with someone and in 2 minutes they know what we are doing. It is not some crazy ad-technology, where 2 months later they are like what are you talking about? How does it work? There is a community marketplace for parking. We want people to share their parking spaces with one another. It's straightforward!

A: Where did you come up with the name, ParkingPanda?

NM: We first built the prototype, the initial version of the product, at the Startup Weekend Baltimore which is a weekend long start-up business event, where you create a business, Friday night to Sunday night. Buying a domain name is very difficult, everything you think is cool or good is taken. We were looking and couldn't find anything. I don't remember who said it, but someone said, “You guys should get a mascot!” I think Adam [Z] might have been like “the ParkingPanda” and it became a running joke throughout the weekend. Then ultimately, we were like, this is fun, people love Pandas.  It fits with us, our attitude, the way we approach the business. It turned into a great marketing thing, people love ParkingPanda! When it gets out there people recognize it. So we just went with it. After start up weekend, we actually won the start-up weekend event.

A: Do you get money from that?

NM: We got a little money to help us incorporate. Once we incorporated the company got money.  Adam [Z] and I didn't collect anything from it, but the company did. So that led back into our marketing and building out the site.

A: Were there domains that you thought were really good, but they would not work or were not available?

NM: For the longest time we wanted ParkingSpace, we tried a million different things, but they were all taken. We didn't let ourselves linger. We went to check and if it was taken, we were like “Eh!” That's the way domain names work now, it is hard to get them. That is why you see all these ridiculously named companies. ParkingPanda is a little bit ridiculous but it is fun and it works.

A: It took a while for me to come up with my Blog name, Adam's Auto Advice. When I thought of it though it was like “Oh! That's great!”

NM: That's what happens when you build this out in a weekend. We are happy with it, it has worked out great. It is recognizable, we have our little logo which is a car Panda.

 

Click Part 1 and Part 2 for the whole interview