On Friday night I drove to Greensboro to attend a Tweetup sponsored by Buick. It was at a cool restaurant called Liberty Oak. We were upstairs on a loft overlooking the dining room. Some of their social media team and designers were in the area for the High Point Furniture Market. They are thinking about the design of the interior of their cars in new ways that relate to home design, and were looking for feedback and input from other designers. Since they were in the area, they also wanted to connect with Twitter users and other social media types.
I was the lone Triangle representative in attendance. I saw my friend Adam, who i met last year at Startup Weekend, and have seen many times as he joins us for social media events in the Triangle. I met several people that I knew from Twitter, but have never met in person, including Danielle and Tammy, who is a fan of North Carolina Wine TV. I also met Brandon, Jon and Sarah, among others.
The gathering was hosted by Lish (from Buick’s agency) and Robert (Buick’s social media manager). Robert was the one who showed me the 2010 Buick Lacrosse pictured above. That picture was taken with my dSLR, and the dashboard picture and these others were taken with my iphone. They say the camera you have with you is the best camera, but if I am carrying both cameras, my dSLR is better. I talked to both of them about social media and showed Robert some of the things that I can do with my iphone. He captured some video with his Flip of me explaining my posterous blog as seen on my iphone.
I also had the chance to speak with Alexandra, the woman responsible for the interior design of the car I sat in. She was interested in my perceptions of American cars and what can change those perceptions. We talked about one of the main differences between buying living room furniture and buying a car. A car is one thing and you are probably not going to go too far out in left field with your car choice. If you pick something trendy because you are trying to be cool, like the Nissan Cube, you will probably regret it in a couple of years. If you buy a standard living room furniture set, you can add a funky chair to the mix to accent your style. And in a couple of years, if it feels dated, you can just replace that one piece. It’s also like painting one wall of a room a funky color, rather than the whole room. A car doesn’t have that ability to upgrade, or change the style, if you tire of it. That’s why people make conservative choices. So car designers can only push the envelope so far.
One of the cool interior touches was recessed lighting throughout the interior. The technology included satellite radio, a backup camera with directional indicators based on how you turn the steering wheel, and an auxiliary jack to plug in your mp3 player along with a usb port to charge it, both located in the center console. There was also a light in the console so you could find these plugs.
It was a fun time and I made some new connections, new friends, and learned a little bit about a new car from Detroit and some of the thought behind it.