Dell enters the conversation

Techcrunch reported that Dell has launched Dell Ideastorm. Think of it as Digg for customer suggestions relating to Dell, its products and services.

The idea is great, simple and comes at the right time for Dell – who has been in the doldrums for the past 18 months or so. They seem to have lost their way with product innovation and customer service. This may well nudge them into action, rapid action.

Its also one of the first real applications of social media by a large, well-know multinational that engages their customers. And, at a time when they have lagged Apple and HP in product development, its a bold step to make themselves more open, communicative and engaging.

One of the first things I noticed on the site was the reference to the famed ‘conversation’ – the war-cry of Web 2.0ites and social media-ites (and well used by Hillary Clinton in her declaration video). In the top left corner – they list ‘other conversations’, that link to Direct2Dell, the Dell blog; StudioDell, their content and training hub that uses videos and podcasts well; and Dell Forums, their community support site.

Dell Conversations

In the few days that its been up (it was launched on Friday 16th Feb), it has garnered over 21500 ‘promotions’ on about 600 suggestions. For Dell the message is clear:

  1. Offer Linux OS’s
  2. Remove bloatware (or at least provide the option to have a clean machine)
  3. Offer OpenSource options
  4. Improve product design
  5. No more offshoring – especially Indian Call Centres.

More power to Dell for embracing social media and the power of its customers. Now what are you going to do with it?

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