I find it humorous that after the Blogger meeting with Bill Gates–where he walked into a room of bloggers, all of whom were using Apple laptops–Microsoft works with Acer to send out Windows laptops to webloggers. As Jeneane notes, primarily male webloggers (and I’ve not seen anything among the ASP.NET webloggers about them receiving anything from the company).
It was a foolish move if, for no other reason, they sent laptops to many people who can easily afford to buy a laptop. More, the same people who get offered so much anyway, creating a strong divide between the tiny haves and the many have-nots. A better approach would have been to provide a random drawing, a contest, or some other event if they wanted to provide webloggers with Windows laptops. Then the event would have generated attention without the acrimony.
That’s that not the point, though. Microsoft wanted to influence the influencers, tossing a few machines to some on the edges more as distraction (“See? Not everyone we gave one to is an A Lister.”) It was a rather amateurish act, and I have to wonder about these PR companies and their inability to get things right.
I don’t begrudge the folks getting one who could not afford such, and more power to them. I hope they keep the machines, because it would cruel to make them give up something that has become a real and unexpected treat. If you know such, then back off and let them enjoy something delightfully unexpected.
I do wonder, though, at those who have so much already who continue to take and take. The words “gluttony” and “greed” come to mind, but I’m sure that such surfacing is purely coincidence, webloggers being the selfless bunch that we are.
I did get a kick out of the Slashdot comment, This is typical MS behaviour – entirely immoral and calculating … and where do I sign up?
No, I did not get a machine. The only times I’ve been offered a freebie is when Clay Shirky and Tim O’Reilly and others offered to pay my plane ticket to an O’Reilly tech conference, though I would have to pay for my own hotel and food. That was back when I first started pointing out the fact that O’Reilly conferences had few women. Blogher did the same, but I think they were working on seeing I was fed and housed, ungrateful pup that I was.
Microsoft did offer to give me the deluxe treatment at the Search Camp Spa, back when I had blogging cred. I declined, forever banishing me to the hinterland of “those who don’t get it”. Literally it would seem.
Oh and folks who followed the old Burningbird weblog site have helped me out from time to time so I could keep the site running. See? It’s all your faults. You could have gotten rid of me years ago.
Ooops. Oops. I forgot, I did get a free gift.
When I wrote about lens cleaning and pointed folks to Copperhill and their lens cleaning kits, they were nice enough to send me a DVD cleaning kit as a note of appreciation. It has the cutest little iPod screen cleaner you’ve ever seen — just like a baby felt covered squeegee.
Oh god, now I’m forever tainted. I’ve failed Scoble’s and Arrington’s criteria for ethical webloggers. I will be known for now and forever as the Woman Who Took the Baby Felt Covered Squeegee and Didn’t Disclose.
This sucks. I feel so ashamed.