Searching for a new cellphone, I spent some time drooling over the specifications of Nokia's N90. So, since I had just watched a program on google, I googled it (OK, I'd have googled it anyway, but I wanted to link that program, thanks Erling). And what did I find? The N90 blog-watch by Nokia!
Rather than creating their own blog to promote the product, Nokia has some clever marketing person watching the blogs for mentions of N90. And look, they have negative reviews as well! OK, boing boing can hardly be neglected by any internet-wise company, but I am still impressed by the ingenuity of this. After all, if they don't warn customers of the bad parts about this phone, they will just have a lot more dissatisfied customers. Not many marketing departments actually get that.
Still, their marketing strategy is clever: send a gadget to a geek, ask the geek to tell the world how the gadget works, and to be honest about it, geek gets to play with gadget no matter what geek says. Then link geek's comments. Money can't buy that kind of advertising, but fun gadgets can. You have to be pretty sure of your product, this would be disastrous if no geek liked it. If they do - well, you have a screen full of the kind of testimonials that readers trust a lot more than your marketing department.
Clever, clever Nokia. Now send me a 8800, and I'll put it to rigorous tests on several continents.