I saw this post on Rex Dixon’s site “Technically Speaking” on Infield Parking, the new social website for NASCAR fans. I’ve been a NASCAR fan for a few years now, so this intrigued me. One of the pluses that IP has going for it is that the President and Co-Founder is Little E himself Dale Earnhardt Jr. This fact will instantly give the site credibility to a large segment of the racing fan population (though admittedly there may be some who will forgo it just for this reason).
So I decided to sign up. When you first hit the site, the one thing that stands out is the slick design. It looks clean and professional. Registration was a breeze, but why do some sites insist on emailing you the password you set in clear text? I would recommend they use https for authentication and please don’t email me the password I just set up 2 minutes ago in plain text. If you’re going to show me what I typed twice in the email, why block it with asterisk when I type it in at the web site? The other thing you have to do is pick a favourite driver, some people have more then one or would rather not specify, so I don’t know how that’ll work. Then you can set up your “Infield Parking Space”, the cool thing about that is the profile pages aren’t random numbers, it’s a nice intuitive URL naming structure. For instance my profile is here: http://www.infieldparking.com/Michael_NET. Easy to remember and type.
The other strength of the site appears to be its forums. Forums are the way to build community and IP has a nice selection of them with a fairly active community. I’m looking forward to seeing how this plays out up to the February launch.
The NASCAR fan base (and drivers for that matter) are no longer restricted to the original south base that started the tradition. There’s plenty of tech and gadgets in NASCAR for any geek to enjoy. If you haven’t checked it out before, I suggest at least giving it a glance, it’s much more then people just turning left.