In a recent NY Times "Wheels" email, I clicked on a curious link entitled 2008 Collectible Car of the Year Contest (I must have missed it during the last six months of emails). I was brought to a user generated photo gallery where readers had submitted photos and descriptions of their cars for the community to vote upon. The winner, in case you were wondering, was The Marquis de Soto.
The fact that users are submitting this kind of info to the web is not new. Rate My Space, which was constructed by SIIA Member Neighborhood America does this for living spaces, and I'm certain that Car & Driver, Road & Track, as well as Hemmings Motor News are doing this for cars. What impressed me was that the venerable NY Times was trying to build such a niche audience.
I dont' know how successful this venture has been, but I'm sure that many readers of the NYT have the disposable income to buy collectible cars. By creating a way to draw users together, bestow awards, and curate content, the NYT is employing some of the tactics they'll need to survive in an online world.