Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Update on the Edelman/Microsoft/Vista saga

I finally heard back from the Seattle Edelman rep who asked me if I wanted to try Vista on a laptop the would send. (back story is here.)

So, the bad news is that they ran out of the laptops, but the good news is that they're getting more...this time HP laptops (which should make my sister happy.) And if I agree to blog that I got such an item from Microsoft (which I believe I'm doing right now) then they will send me one...certainly hoping but not requiring that i write about it.

They are now saying that you can do one of the following with said laptop:
"Once you’re done with the laptop, you can send it back to us, give it away to one of your readers, donate it to your favorite charity, or keep it for further review purposes. And although it’s up to you, we also recommend that you post about what you intend to do with the laptop after you’re done with trying it out."
Now, I had asked about shipping information to send it back when I was done (and reiterated that question n my reply to Edelman today) but I confess I'm sort of getting sucked into the idea of giving it to a local charity.

Computers are almost always on the list of desired items for charities, and I give my piddly little $25 and $50 donations to so many charities, many of them local...wouldn't a computer make a much bigger impact?

What do you think? Returning it is of course the cleanest, most journalistic approach. Giving it to a charity sounds so much better, but is it really just me deciding the ends justify the means?

Opinions please?

I'm not in the bloggers-are-journalists camp but encourage disclosure to maintain trust with readers. I think overly-enthusiastic payola posts out themselves anyway. So I'd keep reading even if you kept the laptop but donating to charity is a terrific option.

I hope you'll review Vista and I look forward to reading your take.
I agree--as long as you're disclosing that they gave it to you in the review, I think it's yours to do with as you please. I mean, that's certainly the concept with other kinds of product reviews--no one expects book reviewers to return books, for example.
Thanks both of you.

Landis: I think there is a difference in most circles between books, CDs, DVDs, movie tickets...items that carry less than $40 value or so, and big-ticket items like computers, consumer electronics etc.

There may indeed be a wink-wink, nudge-nudge aspect to some of it, but officially journalists are supposed to return such big ticket items.
I want to see big ticket items reviewed by bloggers and most don't have the budgets to pay for big ticket items or services. You can't return a meal and I've read that the NYT's budget for restaurant reviews is six figures. Adsense sure isn't covering that so, to me, maintaining the church/state editorial/advertising separation like traditional media outlets just means the only place I'll see reviews of big ticket stuff is at a very few high traffic places unless they damn the "rules of journalism."

And yes CD's don't go back but if you added up the "value" of all received in a year it would be a hefty chunk of change. Do we assume then that the opinion of book and music reviewers is somehow "bought" if they're being bought in bits and pieces instead of all at once?
Oh snap, maria!

You make some excellent points...I never thought of it that way :)
Donate it. They could use it much more than the company you return it to, by which point it will probably be obsolete to them anyway.

Would love to hear which charity you pick - how about one that encourages girls to use technology or get involved in technology careers?
Oh KIP! That idea rocks. OK, I'll keep you posted.

But I have to get the darn thing first :)
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