February 21st, 2007

tools, brains, computers

Dell, hoist by their own web 2.0 petard

Dell tried to pull some of the "you make the web" juice to itself by creating "Dell IdeaStorm", where users could submit their own suggestions for how Dell could do/sell things better.

Guess what: The overwhelmingly popular suggestions have been all about open-source and transparency: "Pre-Installed Linux", "Pre-Installed OpenOffice", "linux laptop", "Have Firefox pre-installed as default browser".

Now Dell is in the somewhat awkward (for them) situation of having to implement some of these ideas or face the egg-on-face of asking the crowd for suggestions and then refusing them all. Not that I'm complaining -- Dell has been in bed with the Microsoft "pre-packaged software" options for so long that their versions without Windows cost more than the versions with, since so much is subsidiszed by all the greyware "trial version" bloat software.

Interesting to note that Web 2.0, for all its hype, might actually have an impact on the behavior of big capital. Keep your fingers crossed.

(via the Ubuntu blog)
Additional note: LibraryThing has some data suggesting that non-commercial web 2.0 is more successful than commercial attempts [Amazon] to cash in on tagging. "Amazon's tagging suffers a failure of incentive."