Engadget readers of a Fujitsu laptop review brought Asus’s WePC project into the discussion. This is a new approach to “conquest marketing,” the tactic where brands buy ads alongside editorial coverage of their competitors. Only this time it’s free and organic — which, I bet, means it will be more effective.
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David Altavilla and Marco Chiappetta of Hot Hardware pay a visit to Christine Arehart, aka GetInThruIt, winner of Intel’s Need a Tech Makeover promotion. Christine’s story racked up more than 21,000 votes, and when you hear it, you’ll know why.
More on Intel’s Need a Tech Makeover program.
IBM and Intel teamed up with FM, AnandTech, DailyTech and Hot Hardware to launch IBM Virtualization Little Ashes download , a social-media platform for IT to define, explore and optimize processing virtualization. From one post:
“First dual-core in 2005, then quad-core in 2007: the multi-core snowball is rolling. The desktop market is still trying to find out how to wield all this power; meanwhile, the server market is eagerly awaiting the octal-cores in 2009. The difference is that the server market has a real killer application, hungry for all that CPU power: virtualization.”
Today Boing Boing unveils a new site in the Boing Boing family, Offworld. Brandon and team promise to:
“focus on the overlooked, the underappreciated, the rise of the independents and, in general, the games that are bringing genuine excitement and innovation (in both gameplay and design) to the industry.”
Intel’s Core i7 Extreme Edition is the launch sponsor. Thanks, Intel!
(Credits: Tim Takeuchi and Thom Campbell at Intel; Adam Fisk and Rod Rakic at OMD; Ori Zohar at McCann Erickson; Joel Johnson, David Pescovitz and Brandon Boyer at Boing Boing; and Matt Jessell, Mugs Buckley and Jason Ratner at FM.)
Matt DiPietro, FM’s PR manager, surveyed the web to see if the launch of the crowdsourced-laptop-design project, WePC, made an impact on press and blog coverage for ASUS and Intel, the site’s sponsors. Was there a halo effect in which news of the WePC project got more people thinking about and talking about Intel and ASUS?
Of course, coverage of WePC itself spiked — it didn’t exist prior to the last week in October.
But press hits for “ASUS” alone also spiked the week WePC launched — up 10% over the prior week, and up more than 100% over the final week in September.
Articles and blog posts that mentioned both “ASUS” and “Intel” jumped roughly 65% versus the average week in October.
It will be interesting to watch how this plays out. The giant press bonanza hit the week of launch, which explains the peaks on these graphs. As visitors to the site build their dream-machine concepts and share those concepts (or others they like better) with friends, I wonder, will the buzz expand outward from the mainstream press and professional-grade bloggers to the far reaches of the conversational media landscape? If so, will the WePC project carry the ASUS and Intel brands with it as the bloggers chat it up?
Man, this project — sponsored by ASUS and Intel, with participation from several FM authors — is striking a chord.
(Disclosures: UberGizmo, Mashable, Core77 and Searchblog are affiliated with FM.)
“True power is derived from the people, yes? Asus and Intel know this well, so they’ve launched a website called WePC, where users can draw up concepts and specs for new netbook and notebook models then argue about how fantastic or utterly impractical they are. In a sense cooperative laptop design is not new — we’ve seen groups of companies work together to develop products, and Best Buy’s Blue Label is somewhat similar to this — but Asus and Intel are going full-on populist (or at least the appearance of it) with WePC. The promise is that designers will lurk on the site and implement some ideas — probably (and thankfully) not including the ones that are completely whacked.”
My colleague Liam Boylan’s dream machine, the Waterproof Laptop:
UPDATE 11:55am: ClickZ coverage as well:
“Coming soon to a Best Buy near you: The world’s first crowdsourced computer, courtesy of Intel, IT company ASUS and Federated Media Publishing.
“The three partners yesterday launched a site called WePC.com to solicit the public’s idea on what the ideal computer would look like. Visitors to the site can upload their own ideas or discuss and vote on what others say.
“Sometime next year, Intel will review the proposals and produce computers based on the most popular suggestions — limited, of course, by what is actually possible (don’t hold out hope for a laptop that predicts stock market fluctuations).”
Battelle, FM’s founder and CEO, announces the news at Searchblog:
“For the better part of a year, we at FM have been working on an innovative new project with Asus and Intel. Today it launched. WePC.com is an experiment in crowdsourcing an entirely new piece of hardware, and I’m very proud of the work we’ve done together.”
According Intel’s release:
“Consumers become product designers at WePC.com, a Web site launched today by Intel Corporation and ASUS. WePC.com is where consumers can collaborate with each other and with Intel and ASUS to design innovative new products. The plan is for the two companies to deliver to market what could be the world’s first community-designed PCs.”
Congratulations to Kevin Huang, Wanting Yang, Mike Hoefflinger, Deborah Conrad, Mona Mameesh, David Dechant, John Cooney, Ryan Baker, Jeff Hsueh, Jonathan Schreiber, Jason Ratner, Josh Mattison, Sacha Lien, Liam Boylan and Josh Stivers. Who can identify, at this point, which of them work for ASUS, for Intel or for FM!
And keep your eyes peeled for the ChasNote Deluxe.
Last month Intel invited submissions from tech consumers in need of a tech makeover. More than 1.25% of visitors to the site registered and pitched their cases, and thousands of visitors who didn’t voted and commented on other people’s submissions.
Perhaps a better success metric, though, is the authenticity of the conversation and the pathos brought to it. For example, nearly 13,000 visitors think “Getinthruit,” a woman struggling with breast cancer, should win the prize. She gets my vote.