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Dell Goes Digging For Compliments

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The PC maker unveiled two new elements of its digital media strategy over the weekend, as they seek user-created videos showing how people use their products, and a Digg-like message board where people can make and vote on suggestions for Dell.

If Dell truly listens to the suggestions offered by registered visitors to its IdeaStorm website, we could see PCs sold with clean, OS-only installs, options for Linux with or without Windows pre-installed, and tech and customer support brought back to the United States.

Longtime Dell partner Microsoft will probably object to the first two suggestions. Dell probably doesn’t want to jeopardize lucrative deals with Google and AOL that place their software on Dell hardware by default, either.

That’s the hazard of publicly soliciting public feedback. The people may want something that the company won’t be able to deliver even though it may be capable of doing so. Dell would have to make a bet that demand for clean or Linux-installed machines would offset what it could lose from partnership deals.

The Direct2Dell blog, which started in the aftermath of Dell eliminating its once-effective customer support message boards, noted the arrival of both IdeaStorm and videos on StudioDell.

On StudioDell, its users can upload the videos they make showing how they use their Dell products. One video features a professor from Rice University, describing nano-modeling and how it is used to help research cancer.

Dell has been going through its share of changes beyond just adding a couple of web services. Founder Michael Dell recently ousted CEO Kevin Rollins to take that role himself. A couple of top VPs also announced they would leave not long after Dell returned as CEO.

They may need more than a Digg clone to reverse a trend that has seen H-P pass Dell as the top global PC manufacturer.


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Dell Goes Digging For Compliments
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  • RichardatDELL

    Hi David
    Appreciate the perspective on Ideastorm and you may want to check back later this week as we begin to respond to the suggestions at Ideastorm. We are certainly following up and taking a look at the various ideas we are getting.

    By the way, if your reference to “customer support message boards” means the Dell Community forums, they have been revamped but continue to be busy and a source of lots of input, as well as a place where many customers do work together and with Dell to troubleshoot issues.

    • David A. Utter

      Hi RichardatDell, thanks for stopping by. I was referring to the old school forums that your folks used to populate. If you’re remaking that into a semblance of what it was, customers should look forward to that.

      If not, hey, I’m sure Jeff Jarvis will be glad to talk about it :)

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