Beyond info from Lexus or your dealer, there are excellent Lexus-driver sites devoted to covering issues that affect your vehicle. This month, we look closely at a favorite, and we recommend the Lexus communities that all owners should consider following.
If you’ve been doing any new-car research recently, then chances are you know that the great thing these days is there’s a sea of information out there. Of course, you also probably know there’s a drawback: there’s a sea of information out there. Start your search, and you can get buried in an avalanche of data.
Maybe that’s why, whenever I’m looking for the latest insights about Lexus models, including information for Lexus magazine stories, I always seem to end up at The Lexus Enthusiast, an independent blog focused on all things Lexus.
If you’re a Lexus owner, chances are you’ve already visited, or regularly visit the site, especially if you’re already a member of great Lexus-driver forums like Club Lexus, Lexus Owners Club, and my.IS. But if you haven’t, know that it’s a superb resource for all kinds of Lexus drivers, from hardcore Lexus fans to those of us that value our vehicles but hardly give Lexus a thought outside scheduled maintenance.
The site’s key service is to continually aggregate the sea of information out there about Lexus modelsyour model, or the model you’d like to make your own. By his own admission, site editor Kevin R.E. Watts (shown at left) sifts through a thousand links a daydocuments, images, videosthat he finds via searches, those aforementioned forums, and, increasingly, the passionate community that has built up around his site.
“There’s a lot of technical information out there, and it can be overwhelming to people,” says Watts. “So it’s really a matter of identifying and focusing on key points. I never try to overwhelm; it’s about bite-sized bits of information, and then directing the reader to more, if they’re interested.”
Looking to find independent performance data for your next model? It’s there. Hear something about a voluntary Lexus-model recall? The Lexus Enthusiast is often the first independent source to post alerts, with direction to official Lexus information.
And if that isn’t enough reason to visit The Lexus Enthusiast regularly, or at least follow its constant flow of updatesvia Facebook, Twitter, RSS feeds, e-mailthere’s also tons of fun information here, from grainy rumored-model “spy” videos to Watts’ personal account of driving the LFA at a recent event in New Jersey. All of it is broken down by model for easy access.
The Lexus Enthusiast was actually born out of Watts’ search for his first Lexus. “I took that purchase very seriously, spending a lot of time searching for news and current information,” he says. “I was looking all over, and it wasn’t long before I saw an opportunity to act as an aggregator for Lexus enthusiasts and bring it all into one spot.”
Watts, a pro Web developer, purchased his next model, an LS, in September of 2006, and six months later he launched the site. It remained something of a hobby for several years, growing steadily until it reached critical mass. So many Lexus drivers love the site that last year, Watts turned The Lexus Enthusiast into his full-time vocation.
LEXUS-DRIVER BLOGS, FORUMS, AND MORE
The Lexus Enthusiast: All things Lexus, posted and organized daily.
Club Lexus: A superb, and huge, community forum for Lexus drivers of all models.
my.IS: Another great community, primarily focused on Lexus IS owners.
Lexus Facebook Page: Lexus’ official Facebook page, rapidly approaching 100,000 fans.
LexusLife: Lexus magazine’s lifestyle Twitter handle.
Lexus Owners Club: An international forum designed for all Lexus owners, along with daily news posts that affect Lexus drivers.
Lextasy: A 10-year-old modified-vehicle community, with a thriving forum and extensive parts catalog.
“My community breaks down into three distinct groups,” says Watts. “There’s the passionate Lexus brand enthusiasts, of course, people very similar to myself. For them, no detail is too small. They just want to know anything and everything about Lexus.
“Then there’s the more casual user. People that are looking to buy a vehicle or want information about the car they own. They’ll find my site, read everything I have about that model, and then maybe come back every six months to read what I’ve accumulated since.
“The third group is interesting. It turns out the site really resonates with Lexus employees. From dealership salespeople and mechanics right up to senior management all over the world. I think they like that unique window into the companyan outsider’s look at what’s happening. And, of course, it’s easy to digest.”
I personally think this broad audience is a testament to its editor’s approach. Watts always puts his readershis fellow Lexus ownersfirst. “I don’t try to flavor it too much, and I try to never make it about my own personal opinion. I’ll always interject, and lend support. But in the end, it’s about getting the news to people that share the same passion that I do.”