We are living in amazing times. The world is changing at an incredible rate. Check out this video called “Did You Know?“. The point behind the video is that the world is changing very quickly. Indeed. Where it all ends, nobody knows. But let’s take a look at one aspect – the internet.
A large part of the reason for the increasing velocity of change is the internet. Because of the internet, information is traveling faster and more freely. Decisions are made faster, and hence the world is changing faster. On the other hand, traditional media (newspapers, magazines, radio, music, motion pictures, and television) are all under siege. Newspapers, perhaps the weakest link in the food chain, appear to be the first to fall, but all of these industries must adapt or perish.
At the core of many of these industries is the concept of advertising. The entire concept of advertising is falling apart. Content (articles, videos, television shows, newspapers, etc) were provided to us for free (or a marginally low price) so this content can be bundled with advertising messages paid handsomely by companies. Now with the internet, much of the content can be had for free, but I believe that there is a much larger reason why traditional advertising is beginning to fail.
Let’s face the fact, that we all have learned to treat advertising with a certain degree of skepticism. After all, if a company is touting their products, they push the strong points, and avoid the weak points. It only stands to reason. But now it is changing. A successful product should not be defined so much by a clever marketing campaign, but the goodness of the product itself.
I just bought a new camera, the Panasonic Lumix TZ50. How did I make my decision? By reading lots of user comments. I did not look at the expert sites like dpreview, nor did I visit the manufacturer’s web sites. I spent all of my time on Amazon.com, reading user reviews. I was looking for people like me, that had the same considerations as me.
And now… drum roll, please. I am proud to introduce the PC Pitstop Satisfaction Surveys. Since July of 2008, as part of our OverDrive tests, we have been asking users, three basic questions about their PC.
Since that time, close to a year ago, we have collected millions of responses and tabulated them by model. Now we are able to show the collective view of which PC’s have happy customers, and which ones do not. Furthermore, beginning in April 2009, we began collecting comments to get a qualitative feel for what is driving satisfaction.
We have divided the research into the following four categories:
Check it out, and tell us what you think. We are listening.
Which brings me to another key point about comments. I want to thank the millions and millions of PC Pitstop users for their comments. When you look in the tech blogosphere, PC Pitstop users stand alone in one humongous way – user commments. When we write an article, the comments come flowing like a river, and I love it. Don’t ask me why, but PC Pitstop readers are some of the most vocal and opiniated tech readers in the world. That’s a good thing!
A good example is our first FreeWare article. It was a first stab, and guess what? Not everyone agreed with our list, and they let us know it. After hundreds of comments, the article meaning had been fundamentally changed for the better. We have incorporated almost all of the comments into our subsequent Freeware article. The key point, however, is that user comments, become more important than the article itself. It is not one person or one company’s look on Freeware, it is all of our collective experience and opinions that matter.
Coming full circle on the velocity of change in this world, one key change is that the world is becoming much more democratic. One voice is no longer lost in the crowd, and that is exhibited by comments. I have told everyone at PC Pitstop, and now every one here, user comments are part of the future of the internet. Lastly, thank you for your comments.