Guest Genius: Christopher Carfi

Each Tuesday, we’re happy to turn over our blog space to a Guest Genius, someone who can give a fantastic and fascinating perspective about making word of mouth work. 

This week’s guest genius:
Christopher Carfi
Co-founder, Cerado


WOM and the new Digital Nomads

Back in 2006, Greg Olsen wrote a post called "Going Bedouin" that made the internet rounds more than a few times.  It was a well thought-out and well-crafted piece that received the attention it deserved.  Flash forward to 2008, and now we see that Dell has taken the idea and run with it, by way of a new initiative called Digital Nomads.

From the Dell side, the human faces behind Digital Nomads are Bruce Eric Anderson (@bruceericatdell).  Anderson is a strong complement to both Richard Binhammer (@richardatdell) and Lionel Menchaca
(@lionelatdell), who have, in my opinion, done a really solid job of putting a human face and human voice to Dell through their conversations on Twitter over the last year or so. 

The Digital Nomads effort is an interesting one, and is a step in the right direction.  Right now, the site is set up as a community where said nomads can interact with each other and learn more about the tips and tricks of the bedouin lifestyle.  It’s currently a little heavy on the Dell propaganda, but there are assurances that this will lessen over time.  When called on the carpet over the Dell-centricity of the site, Anderson replied:

"I take your comments as healthy dialogue on the whole concept of what makes one a digital nomad. I absolutely consider myself a digital nomad, even though today I don’t fly frequently across the country or around the world. I’ve had more than my fill of traveling in the past and now with a family at home am glad to be more office-bound but still have the flexibility to do what I do from wherever. Perhaps you could call me today more of a ‘corridor nomad’.

My role and presence on digitalnomads.com will become less over time as more of you come on as guest bloggers, add to the whitepaper, contribute thoughts and comments (the latter being a great point made by @MktMan).

@LionelatDell and I, or any other Dell employee, are the only ones who are paid to contribute to this site — though our intent is to make this less about Dell and more about the concept of digital nomads. Thanks for your comments."

So far, the conversation on Twitter is trending positive as well.

Is Digital Nomads a success?  It’s too early to tell.  The site’s been up for only a week or so, and it’s still certainly got a few rough edges (for example, the "Crowdsource this Whitepaper" section of the site feels a bit half-baked). However, the initiative does seem to indicate an honest commitment on Dell’s part to not only try something new, but to do it in a way that brings together its customers and others outside the organization in order to achieve that goal.  From that aspect, they’re definitely on the right track.

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