Curiosity and #telstradesire

Like Mark Pesce and Chris Rowland, I think I should make abundantly clear my reasons for getting involved in Telstra’s Social Review program, not least because of some of the bile that’s being sprayed about on Twitter.

Like the others, it’s not a ridiculous purchase for me to go out and spend between $700-$1200 on a smart phone I use for work. It strikes me as a reasonable spend. I was, and may still, use my iPhone 3GS as a device to keep me connected while I’m away from my office. The way I do my work makes having a smart device that keeps me connected to all the networks, feeds and information I consider valuable for my job.

I don’t need a free HTC Desire from Telstra for that, I can afford it myself.

I’ve got a pretty decent public profile. I don’t really need to build it up any more than it is.

I don’t need a free HTC Desire from Telstra for that, I have a rich, working, growing network.

So why get involved in this exercise. Well, the answer is simple, really.

Curiosity.

I’m curious about the device itself and how it, as an alternative to the iPhone, fits my connected life as a device with which I can conduct my business.

I’m curious as to how Telstra came up with the idea of the Social Review and how it reflects on and blends with the work I do with clients. It’s an interesting hybrid of crowdsource, crowd wisdom and careful selection through and open application process (which all the reviewers did).

I’m curious about how different types of users will use the device. I’m certainly coming from a geek and business point-of-view, others definitely are not.

Mostly, I’m curious as to how all these moving parts fit together in a hyperconnected world and what that might mean for influence, for social media marketing, for relationships. What it means to do something like this together and what sort of benefit to decision making that might offer the rest of you.

That’s new and interesting and why I’m involved.

I’m sure Telstra are being smart about this; they know what they’re doing, they know they have a reasonably good device on their hands and they know they’ll get a level of benefit out of the program. After all, that’s the point, right?

However, we’ve all been tasked with reviewing the Desire any way we like, using social channels to do so. That’s happening, and it looks to be working.

5 Replies to “Curiosity and #telstradesire”

  1. Isn’t the obvious answer to quiet the haters is to give the phone back or away at the end of the program?
    Just a thought!

  2. I’ve not yet decided what I will do with the phone. Your suggestion gives me two options.

    Though accepting a prize in a competition (with 2000+ entries and a proper permit, that’s what it was) whether for this, or M&Ms (not that I know of an M&M competition), or anything else hardly indicates one is open to manipulation.

    If I do give it away, but end up liking it enough to replace my iPhone, I’ll buy one outright anyway.

  3. On the manipulation point you make, there aren’t many “competitions” (I question that it was a competition and not an interviewing process) that have you having to do stuff after you win as part of winning. I mean, yes you might get a photo with a novalty cheque but its pretty rare you then have to say how great the money is from that place (or how little it was) as part of winning.

    And as I wrote on another reviewers blog, would we accept a MSM reviewer keeping a product given a product from a company or would we question their ethics? Are we all asking to be taken as serious as MSM writers and if we are, we have to be held to the same rules! We have to take the good with the bad!

  4. It was a competition inasmuch as 25 were selected from 2000 for saying the right thing and fulfilling Telstra’s criteria. Interview is an equally valid notion, so not disputing that.

    MSM reviewers of things like travel do this sort of thing all the time. By no means am I saying their, or this process, is faultless. But it is transparent; we’ve all noted clearly (including Telstra) what we’re doing, how, why and any conditions.

  5. When I first saw the #telstradesire tag I thought it was an ironic jibe at Telstra. Then I realised that “Desire” was a phone. Not knowing anything about the campaign of 25, I then was vaguely surprised to see a few of the names in my stream who seemed to be spruiking Telstra. Still, I wasn’t interested enough in the phone to click on the hashtag stream, let alone track down any blog posts on the topic. I only did that for the first time last night after seeing a few heated exchanges on twitter.

    My point is that a tweet has no disclaimer and all the transparency of disclosure on the blogs is only going to reach a (probably small) subset of those who see the tweets. To be clear, I am not saying that @trib and the others should not have participated or even that they should not keep the phone. Those decisions are theirs and theirs alone. This comment aims simply to provide and observation rather than a judgment, namely that it is hard to ensure that everyone sees participation is campaigns like this for what they are. After all, if I had not finally dug into the issue last night, I probably would still have that lingering vague sense of disquiet about the tweets. Does it all matter? Well, that’s not up to me to say, but I suspect that at the very least some of the participants would have been surprised at being misunderstood.

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