Sending Smart Phones to Smart Bloggers Why? Who? How To Get The Most Out Of It

I have noted a couple of times before that Nokia sent out phones and internet tablets in the past to some bloggers. Most were pretty cool with it, some questioned it’s ethics, and I certainly didn’t see any of the every negative reactions that the Vista laptop “give away” kerfuffle produced.

As a blogger who get’s sent stuff on occasions, mostly books and t-shirts, I do wonder what the best way is to approach this process and how to get the most out of it. I really liked the criteria that Gaping void had for sending out wine to bloggers, their criteria was simple and clear, although again, that’s a $20 bottle of wine, and i’m talking about $500 devices here.

Beyond bloggers could you actually work with other kinds of communities, like Nikon did with Flickr? How about giving some devices to top contributers, or the Elite on Yelp, helping them take pictures or do video reviews of restaurants? And what are you building here? Positive WOM? Finding some “lead users”? Seeding the 1 percenters?

What are your thoughts? If your a blogger and you got an Nseries “multimedia computer” in the mail what would you do with it? How would you feel about it? Obligated? Bribed? Important? Valued? I know when I get a book or t-shirt in the mail I feel like a valued person, and somewhat obligated to write something.

I’m going to tag some bloggers that I would like to hear from on this:

David Armano David’s response is here with some very interesting conversation
Shel Holtz
Neville Hobson
Steve Rubel
Mack Collier
Greg Verdino I really like how Greg has focused on the “community activation” aspect of my question
Tom Coates
Ben McConnell & Jackie Hubba

Other responses:
Rohit at Influential Interactive Marketing gives a thoughtful response here

Please note that this post and this blog is my own personal opinion and does not represent the views of my employer

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10 Comments

  1. Posted February 15, 2007 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    I haven’t had many freebies thrown my way, though if I received anything listed in your post, I would be inclined to return it. I like having the independence to know I can write whatever I want, without strings attached.

  2. Posted February 15, 2007 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

    I think it depends on the relationship. if you’re talking to someone who’s already a fan of your products than I think sending them something new to test out and talk about makes them feel special. And that should be the goal of every marketing department.

  3. karl long
    Posted February 15, 2007 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    Too true Noah, i think cultivating fans is a good strategy for sure.

    Thanks Kevin, I get your point, but I guess it comes down to the bloggers personality. Gapingvoid got a 770 in the mail, wrote about it, and is one of the most independent bloggers out there.

    I guess it comes down to fit, if I send something to a blogger the hope is that it will effect their life in some way, enough for them to give an opinion, provide some feedback etc. Like Adam Curry got an N91 (not sure if he was provided one or he bought one) but he talks about it a lot in the context of podcasting. Steve Garfield a video blogger uses the N93 a lot (again, not sure if he was given one or not), and talks about it a lot in the context of video blogging.

  4. Posted February 15, 2007 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

    Karl. Good questions. I provided some thoughts here:

    http://darmano.typepad.com/logic_emotion/2007/02/product_outreac.html

  5. Posted February 15, 2007 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Karl, good feedback!

  6. Posted February 16, 2007 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Hi Karl,

    Great thread and question. I just posted a response and my take on this on my blog at the following URL:

    http://rohitbhargava.typepad.com/weblog/2007/02/read_this_befor.html

    Thanks for bringing up the topic and starting the dialogue. I’m looking forward to hearing what others think …

  7. Posted February 16, 2007 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    I think it’s usually obvious when a post is not geniune (99% of the time). If the reader can’t take the time to form their own impressions, they should likely be doing something other than reading blogs.

  8. Posted February 18, 2007 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    Karl, i suggest that the standing of the blogger makes the difference. Where’s the difference from an invitation to dinner or to a fashion show or to a party, as done on a daily basis in the pr world? This means that journalists are all fakers or liars? Are we blogger so different?

  9. Posted February 20, 2007 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    Took me a few days, but here is my response Karl. Thanks for tagging me on this.

    http://gregverdino.typepad.com/greg_verdinos_blog/2007/02/karl_long_respo.html

  10. Posted February 26, 2007 at 1:23 am | Permalink

    I guess the price tag is one of the big challenges. As you point out, it is not a $20 bottle of wine but a $500 digital device. Will that create a sense of obligation? Will it colour the response/review? Will the attention flatter the blogger?

    I guess it would depend on the context and approach that was made. It would also depend on the spirit in which the arrangement was made … if it was done in the spirit of a Beta test where all feedback is solicited, then that would be great.

    Finally, it comes down to the blogger who has been approached. If you have experience in dealing with marketers (for example, if you are a marketer yourself), then you would probably have no problems negotiating the conditions of the test/review. It’s the less experienced bloggers that I would be concerned about.

2 Trackbacks

  • By Influential Interactive Marketing on February 16, 2007 at 10:21 am

    Read This Before Sending Free Stuff to Bloggers ……

    Karl over at ExperienceCurve posted an interesting question for bloggers yesterday about how you would react to getting free products as a blogger and what sense of obligation you might feel. Nokia is experimenting with this, and just about every…

  • [...] Karl over at ExperienceCurve posted an interesting question for bloggers yesterday about how you would react to getting free products as a blogger and what sense of obligation you might feel. Nokia is experimenting with this, and just about every consumer products brand I work with is considering it and trying to find the right way to do it as well. [...]

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