Automoblog + AudiSite Interview with Chris Burdick: The Past, Present and Future
Chris Burdick has one of the best blogs on the net. As a matter of fact, he has two sites that people love and visit on the a regular bases: Automoblog.net & AudiSite.com. Here we get to know a little about Chris, his need for speed, and general love for cars (Also, theres a little secret revealed at the end 😉 )
If you frequently search car reviews, information on new cars and/or sneak peeks, you’ve had to visit Chris’s sites at some point (if you aren’t already subscribed). Don’t just take my word for it. Automoblog is currently #4 on the top auto blogs list @ blogmetrics.org (not to mention our top list as well).
Besides that, you can tell Chris is a passionate dude, who loves cars and the community he has built.
Here’s the Interview. Enjoy!
1. So, you started building your site in 2006, what made you want to build Automoblog? was it the same for AudiSite.com?
In building Automoblog.net it was actually a combination of two things.
First, being a car guy, I’m always talking about cars and sending friends links and info – I was the car news source.
At the same I wanted to teach myself Web Development, so, naturally, Automoblog.net happened! It gave me a place to share my love for the car and give people an interesting insight and opinion on them.
AudiSite.com came on later and I wanted to have a site that was more focused one topic. I love Audi and thought I’d create the resource that gave Audi enthusiasts their news and reviews and info all in one place.
We’ve been so busy improving and growing Automoblog.net over the past year or so that AudiSite.com has been kind of neglected, but there are firm plans to get it back up and running strong as soon as possible.
2. What about Audi made you want to create a site completely dedicated to it?
Interestingly the first car that I ever received to test for Automoblog.net was an Audi S5. I immediately fell in love with the car.
After testing more Audis I knew I could really put my passion into a site based solely around the brand.
3. What do you feel makes your community special? fans, editors and contributors included.
Everyone who works on and writes for Automoblog is a tight knit group that are in contact multiple times a day.
Each has their own unique perspectives and writing style and I think it really comes through in the articles we write.
We very rarely give an “assignment” to a writer – the topics are left up to each person which really makes the pieces their own and allows them to write about what they’re passionate about, which obviously comes through in the writing.
We’re also not constrained by anything – if we think something sucks about a car, we say it sucks. Our readers deserve the truth even if it gets a car maker mad at us and put on a “blacklist” (yes, it’s happened!)
Our readers are the best. We regularly see comments from the same people over and over and we love reading them. We have readers that have been around since the beginning and come back every day.
My favorite thing is to make a personal connection with a reader, and when someone leaves a comment about their own experience with the article’s topic and even sometimes get emotional, it makes my day.
4. If you could magically give all of your Facebook members one thing in this world, what would it be, and why?
Whatever car they wanted! Or at the very least (and a little more realistically), the information on whatever car they wanted to know about.
I’d love our Facebook page to be a pleasant break from their day to learn and laugh along with the rest of our community. I’d like to start posting more interesting and funny car-related Facebook posts.
5. If you could ask your members one thing and get an answer from all of them, what would that question be?
Quite simply, what would you like from us?
We’re here to give you want you want to see, so please, tell us! We really appreciate all feedback, whether it’s good or constructive, so by all means, don’t be shy.
6. What are your favorite topics to cover on Automoblog and/or Audisite? why?
My favorite articles to write are the in-depth guides – the ones where I have to do research and pull information together to compile an informative guide to make things more clear to readers.
Particularly confusing subjects or something that’s hard to find reliable information on.
For example, it’s notoriously hard to find a good guide on how to get a right-hand-drive car in the United States legally. While we definitely cannot provide legal advice, I found that our guide on this led people in the right direction to figure it out for their particular situation.
Or other guides like “What’s the Difference Between a Coupe and a Sedan?” It’s something that seems so simple but the lines are surprisingly blurred.
I love doing these articles not only because I make the topic more clear for our readers, but learn a lot myself.
7. What’s the fastest you’ve ever driven? What kind of car was it and where were you?
Great question! I’ve hit about 135 mph on the highway in my Nissan 300ZX TT when nobody was around, but don’t normally like doing that.
I actually live in Germany now so the autobahn is at my disposal 🙂 I was testing a Lexus GS 450h here and took it to its top speed of 155 mph before it hit the electronic limiter (it actually topped out at 157).
I also tested a modified Lamborghini Murcielago that I took pretty high but was so focused on the road I didn’t look at the speedometer.
Now that you have me thinking about it I need to get that number higher, I’d love to be in the 200 mph club!
8. Over the years what are your top 3 tips you’ve been told for DIY auto detailing?
This is a tough one! While we don’t cover very much in terms of car detailing, we do like covering DIY topics in general to help the reader save money and help appreciate their cars even more.
I ran an article a while back that took me weeks to write – it was called “9 Car Maintenance Hacks to Make Your Life Easier” and I feel it helped people realize they could do so much themselves that they don’t really have to pay a mechanic to do, and I got joy out of showing them that it’s not as difficult as they think.
9. Here at AutoDeets we cover a lot of DIY topics. What are your favorite DIY detailing activities (wash, waxing, tuning, etc) and what products do you use?
I love washing and detailing my own car in the same way some some people love running or cooking or reading. it’s a meditative process and since I love my car adds a level of emotion to it.
It’s very satisfying and helps me clear my head and feel accomplished at the same time.
I know from personal experience that they really do their research to make sure their products stand up to or exceed the abilities of their competitors.
10. For someone new to your community, how do they get the most out of it?
Comment comment comment! We know so many of you have strong opinions on the topics we write about, so please, tell us what they are!
Hell, we’ve even hired new writers before because they were regular commenters. You’re a member of our community and we want to hear what you have to think about what you care about, even (or maybe especially) if you disagree with us.
11. What are you looking forward to for the rest of 2015? cars, industry news, or any new business developments for your sites?
Wow, that’s a big question!
As far as the car industry itself goes, I’m really looking forward to the new Ford Focus RS – the sooner we can get our hands on one, the better.
Other car maker are also on track to debut some interesting models and variations like Aston Martin who’s got some new cars under their sleeves, and of course I’m looking forward to what Lamborghini will do with the Huracan.
Overall in the industry though, I’m excited to see where the electric car will go. Tesla is a massively innovative company so we will certainly see more from them soon, and we will most certainly be hearing about competitors.
What’s most exciting in that world is what BMW is doing with their i-Series. I’m in love with the i8 and can’t wait to see what’s next
For Audisite.com, I’m very much looking forward to getting it back up and running strong and being Audi enthusiast’s first resource for their news and information.
For Automoblog.net we actually have a secret we’ve been working on for the past few months that I’ll let your readers in on first – we’ve been working on a complete redesign for the whole site that will better help you sort by what you want to read on all devices! I’m very much looking forward to that!
12. You can only own or drive one car for the next 5 years, which would it be? and why?
That’s a tough one.
The Ferrari F430 is probably my favorite car that I’ve driven overall, but I’m not sure I’d like to drive that every day in traffic.
I’d go with the Audi R8 – it’s smooth and easy to drive but really hauls ass when you want it to. A little more realistically though I would happily drive a Subaru WRX STI every day.