Karl Long has tagged myself and a few others with the following question:
"If you're 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'm going to answer this question as honestly as I can:
First off, I would disclose that I know Karl who happens to work at Nokia—we've been in touch over the past year.
So now let's go through Karl's question in more depth:
Yes, I would feel obligated to write about using the device simply because I've been given something of value. I think that's the least thing I could do. However, I would not feel obliged to say positive things unless they were true. I would express honest opinions because that's worth more to me than any gadget. Also, since I'm not a professional reviewer and this is not Consumer Reports, I would probably talk about what I know and avoid things I don't know enough about. I know a thing or two about product and user interface design, so if anyone were to send me a tech gadget, this is what I would talk about most.
No, I would not feel bribed unless there was some condition that came along with it that implied that I had to say only nice things. That's how bribes work. You don't pay someone unless you know for sure that they will do what you want. If I'm sent a product, there is no guarantee that I might not critique it.
I'm going to be very honest here. Yes, absolutely it would make me feel important. I am after all only human and sometimes having a blog with steady readership goes straight to my big head. The good news is that it doesn't stay there too long because I've lived long enough to know that although I enjoy this—there are much more precious and important things in life. But yes, I think receiving something of value would make me feel special.
No , I would not feel valued. If I were sent a product from a large company—I know it's all business and not because I'm being sent something because the company "likes" me. That said, I have received some very thoughtful items recently including A Whole New Mind which was sent to me from Kevin and a signed copy of Mavericks at Work which Valeria sent my way. I felt really valued when Tom sent me his book Sandbox Wisdom because it was like he was talking to me through it. I felt valued because in all cases they read this blog and knew I would appreciate the books. This is different than getting a freebie from a company.
Lastly I would add this for any company with a formal seeding program. I for one would be happy to accept an item with full disclosures, but I would ask you to ask yourself if this is the right forum or not. If it were Nokia to use Karl's example—I would say yes because they are a design-driven organization who's products deliver a user experience. This is something I talk about here.
OK Karl, all that said you can now have Nokia send me an Internet tablet since I'm probably not buying an iPhone and wouldn't mind moblogging on something other than my Sidekick. :)