Rob recently had an excellent post appealing to OEMs to work more with evangelists and influencers in the blogging community to help get the word out about new products by providing access and review units. Rob's had at least one OEM feedback as Motion Computing's CEO will grant Rob an interview about their plans.
This morning Colin picks up on that and blogs about DualCor adding James Kendrick and Greg Hughes to their Board of Technical Advisors (Beta, catchy huh?) as they head forward with their new DualCor cPC. Coliln gives kudos to DualCor and rightly so.
Here's how I see this. I'm perfectly aware that the competitive nature of this business requires a certain amount of secrecy as new products are being developed. I'm also perfectly aware that the PR and marketing games require a certain amount of favor dispensing and the larger, more established resources get the juice. Unfortunately in many cases, the access granted these resources usually only churns out retreaded press release info and rehashed marketing pitches and there seems to be very little follow up to correct bad, incomplete, inaccurate, and in some cases just uninformed information that gets published. The Tablet PC platform has certainly been a victim of that as we still see today in articles where the writer has obviously not really put hands on a Tablet PC. So who is that approach helping?
Bloggers and evangelists in forums such as Tablet PC Buzz do a tremendous amount of work getting the real word out. They also spend a good deal of time correcting misconceptions that can go a long way to stopping sales, but once that bad info is out there, it is tough to erase those negative perceptions.
My brief time in the Microsoft MVP program has proven to me that there is a middle ground when it comes to granting access to info, maintaining control over information, and seeking broader support for upcoming products.
I know much of this is common sense, and I'm not really offering anything new here other than adding my voice to the chorus, but in my opinion, common sense seems lacking in many corporate environments when it comes to these issues.
Kudos to the OEMs and developers that get it. Let's hope those that don't, wake up soon.