The N90 Blogger program has distributed 50 N90 phones to a number of bloggers as part of the US launch of the phone. To go with this a central blog has been set up that links to what various bloggers saying - good or bad. In addition there are plans to open the central blog to all the contributing bloggers. Furthermore the program will later be extended to the N70 and the N91.
The N90 Blogger program has been criticised, the major points center around the reliability of citizen journalism and the fact that people might be biased into positive reviews because they receive the phone for free. This is, of course, a danger, but it is one that almost anyone writing in the public domain faces. Even mainstream press are inevitably influenced by their interactions with PR companies and their own experience. There really is no such thing as a completely ubiased piece. While jouranlists are generally held to a higher standard and do have standards they follow these are not without their flaws. There is a very good reason that a lot of money is spent on PR - it is all about facillitating publicity for your product. In that sense the Blogger program is probably best seen as just another way of achieving this. Moreover mosts bloggers would be horrified at the suggestion they might not post what they really think - the reputation of bloggers is integral to the blogging process.
In the end bloggers are just another opinion generator, and when reading what they have to say, you should, just as when reading anything else, consider the opinion in its context. The advantages of bloggers is they tend to make a much more personal connection, and they can communicate their personal experience. One of the things often missing from reviews is what it is really like to use the phone from day to day, what works, and what doesn't. Bloggers generally do not spend days tweaking their output - much of the time there is a feeling of immediacy and instant opinion to blog posts.
However it is definetely worth bearing in mind that some (not all) bloggers talking about the N90 are part of the program and thus their opinion maybe influenced and I would recommend bloggers make it clear they are part of the program.
All About Symbian, as a community and evangelist site, is perhaps somewhere between bloggers and main stream media and from my perspective something like the N90 Bloggers program is an excellent way of generating interest in the N90 at a grass roots level and reaching an audience that is often hard to communicate with.
We've commented in the past that despite the marketshare and sheer number of devices in the world S60 handsets receive less attention that they deserve. So it is great to see the program generating some buzz about Symbian devices and Nokia innovating in their marketing and starting to embrace the possibilities provided by the Internet.
Here are some links from around the blogosphere commenting on the N90 and the N90 Blogger program.
- Thoughts on the Nokia Blogger Relations Communications program
Matt Miller (palmsolo), one of my favourite mobile bloggers, comments on the N90 Bloggers program. I agree that while the program has risks for Nokia the potential for a closer connection between those looking at / reviewing the device and their audience is an opporunity not to be missed. (Though as someone who runs a mobile evangelism site I may be biased!) There is also a series of posts on the N90. Matt is most definetely a mobile geek and I always enjoy reading about his opinions which come from a differing perspective (a PDA believer from the Palm / Microsoft) world.
- Nokia N90 in Hand!
atmaspheric | endeavors on the N90, problems with OSX sync and connectivity and the to be expected size issue.
- How to Be a Campaign Blogger, Part 3: Discuss (no, really)
Steve Olsen (Smallblog) comments on the interactivity of the N90 Bloggers Program and says other could learn lessons from the campaign.
- Nokia N90 First Full Photo Session
Oliver Starr on the Mobile Weblog takes an initial look at the N90.
- The loop is closed - Podcasts from my Nokia N90 transformer available
Christian Lindholm (an early Series 60 pioneer and UI designer) talks about videocasting using the N90.
- The Ultimate Flip of Nokia N90
Someone wants a Nokia N90 for Christmas!
- LAPTOP Magazine - Nokia N90
Laptop Magazine looks at the N90 and finds a marval of convergence, but isn't convinced by the price.
- Supercool Nokia N90
Jon Arnold's on his Blog explains how he is a member of the N90 Bloggers program and comments how he thinks the program is great for monitoring individual user experience.
- Symbian France: tous les smartphones S60, S80, S90 et UIQ
Comprehensive review of the Nokia N90 (in French).
- Nokia Targets Bloggers For N90 Handset Launch
Digital-Lifestyles.info looks at the N90 Bloggers program and rightly point out that it can be a bit of a tightrope using bloggers to promote products.
- Niko Nyman on the N90
Niko Nyman discusses the first few days on N90 ownership in a range of posts including this intial first impressions post.
- Nokia Blogger Relations Site: Same Bowl, Different Soup
B.L. Ochman's on his blog takes issue with the Blog of the N90 Bloggers Program.
- On Fire and Catching Heat. Get Real
Stowe Boyd's (of Corante) talks about some of the issues that have been raised by the N90 Bloggers program.
- Web Jungle on the N90 Blog
Web Jungle on the N90 Blog and blogs are now on the front line of marketing.
- Brand Republic on N90 Blog
Brand Republic on the N90 Bloggers Program.
- About the N90 Camera Quality
N90 taken picture used on magazine cover.
By contrast here is what some of the other online media has said about the N90:
- Nokia N90 review - infoSync Worl
infoSync takes a look at the N90 and finds a great screen but an unwieldly phone.
- Mobile-review.com Review GSM/UMTS smartphone Nokia N90
Mobile Reviews looks at the N90 but although they like the phone they think the cost is too high.
- Nokia N90 Review (MobileBurn)
MobileBurn's comprehensive review of the Nokia N90.
- Nokia N90 Reviews
CNET's review of the N90.
- The power of Carl Zeiss lens - Nokia N90
ThreeGMobile.net's Paul Matt looks at the N90 and focuses on the camera aspects.
- N90 Review
3g.co.uk takes a look at the N90.
- Nokia N90 review: The great mobile revolution
GSMArena's look at the N90.