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October 01, 2006

Ask Patty Spotlights The Auto Blog Man

Man_1 Ask Patty likes to keep it girly but we couldn’t resist interviewing Dave Mastio, creator of He is our first manly interview and we are better for it. We talked with him about his new site, the onslaught of information coming from blogs, and his own personal opinions on women and cars.

ASK PATTY: What are your opinions on women car buyers and their dealership experiences?

Dave: I am actually pretty ignorant on that issue but I have seen salespeople sell to women. I have seen car salesmen be much more pushy with women buyers. Since I am fairly insensitive, if I noticed then it must be bad!
ASK PATTY: Do you think businesses and automotive companies are successful in their marketing to women?

Dave: Marketing has a tendency to be condescending to both genders that are targeted. It's actually nice that it has such a gender-bashing equality. You know, men are dumb jocks and want power and women only care about cleaning their house.

Princess_1 ASK PATTY: Can you tell us a little bit about your journalism background and what you are doing now with

Dave: I was an editorial board member for USA Today, and was a reporter for Detroit News for a period of time. I also was a speech writer for the Bush Administration. Currently I am a writer for The Virginian-Pilot. I recently started as an aggregator of blog news content.
ASK PATTY: How did BlogNetNews start exactly?

Dave: I am a newspaper guy with ink in my veins. What I have been trying to do is figure out a way that I could recreate the feel of a newspaper on the web, but built on the conversation and citizen journalism out there. I wanted a hybrid between a newspaper and a blog. There are different versions, like sections of a newspaper, called BlogNetLife, BlogNetNews, BlogNetBiz, and soon BlogNetSports. I started doing a section on autos because I knew a lot of auto blogs existed since I've been a regular reader of Mark Tapscott's Behind the Wheel.

ASK PATTY: What do you want to accomplish with BlogNetNews?

Logo_2 Dave: Our mission statement or slogan is, "The front page of the blogosphere." That's what we are trying to achieve. Most blogs are hard to get through and find articles and finding subject matter all together is hard as well. BlogNetNews will help that. My hope is that it will lower the barrier of entry for people trying to get information from blogs. It can really be a lot of work on the front end to find good blogs and good information. Basically I took that front-end work out of the picture.
We actually have this new search tool on the site. The search tool lets both readers and bloggers quickly find what's been said in the auto  blogosphere about any topic without wading through all the excess info you'd get at Google or Technorati. Bloggers themselves, who want to link to similar information for a post, can use this tool. You can also host it on your own site so you don't have to go to mine to type in your query. We are launching a BlogNetNews Bulletin feature, which is a tool you can use to pull the top ten most recent automotive headlines directly onto your site. It will dynamically update about once an hour with new news.

ASK PATTY: Right now BlogNetNews shows Virginia . Do you have plans to expand the coverage?

Dave: Right now we cover California , Florida, New York, Texas and Virginia. We plan to have all 50 states covered and then we will start in on city-specific content. We also plan to have national issues covered on our site soon.

Askpattylogotm1_21 How do we feel about our very first interview with a man on Ask Patty? Well, we are glad Dave humored our scrutiny and we hope he shed some new light on the gender issue. What do you think faithful readers?

David Mastio, currently an editorial writer for The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Va., has been a journalist for more than a decade holding positions at USA Today, The Detroit News and The Washington Examiner. He is the founder of Dave Mastio would love to have ads and sponsors for BlogNetNews. If you are interested, email Dave at


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