An intense discussion on the topic is occured over at twitter this Sunday Evening, 28th March 2010. I don’t know if this will make any sense, I am extremely tired and over simplifying certain issues which have many more facets.
It’s a frequent debate that comes near supposed product launches. Topic: Product leaks.
- For a more in depth post on product leaks, this one from Nokia conversations, back in 08 is a really good read.
- MickyFin also has an excellent blog post about it (and really good discussion) but my googlefu can’t find the link. Will update.
They’re exciting on many levels. For geeks who want to know the latest tech, for journalists who need something hot to publish and for cutting edge consumers who need to know about future devices to guide their product purchases. Product leaks can be great if the product receives rave reviews. It gets people hyped up and excited. Good for the reputation of the company. It’s even more exciting when it’s you delivering the news first.
On the flip side, leaks can be damaging. An incomplete product can be harshly reviewed and damage the products reputation. Hype also needs to be built up. Trickling information, especially a review, destroys uncertainty and excitement at product launch because you know everything about the device. There is no simultaneous reaction. For the workers of new devices, it’s very discouraging when something you’ve been working on for maybe a year in secret is just blurted out.
To leak or not to leak – that is the question:
It’s very interesting to see that there are popular blogs/news sites out there choose NOT to jump on leak stories and let them pass by, despite the obvious positive effect it may have on their traffic. Some explicitly choose not to publish those type of stories, whether out of respect to the manufacturer/relationships with that manufacturer or perhaps confidentiality agreements.
For me, I have my own reasons for what I do and don’t post. Mainly if I find a story/item interesting enough, I post it. If I don’t, I don’t care even if everyone’s talking about it. Not really an ideal journalistic attitude eh? haha. Also I try not to post things that you might have read about a million times already in other blogs, unless I find it really interesting and have an opinion to add to the discussion. It is after all, a very informal, just a hobby type blog.
A side topic to debate is whether or not product leaks are intentional and staged (why would said manufacturer send out products to people who leak info if you want to keep it secrets) or whether it’s an unfortunate and ghastly security blunder (the latter is extremely frightening).
What solutions could there be to reducing leaks? At least in the case of the legend that is Eldar, if the leaks are unintended by Nokia, my naive* mind wants to suggest that perhaps Nokia get in touch with him first, get devices out to him and let him sign confidentiality documents so he can’t discuss things with the public. That’s if Eldar would agree to such things and if Nokia wants his feedback.
This isn’t the full discussion. There are way more pros and way more cons to discuss, but this post will get even longer than it already is.
*As with most things, the more you learn about something, the more you learn that there’s so much more that is unknown. That’s the case here with Nokia. From speaking with Nokia reps, I’m getting the gist that in Nokia, there’s a reason for everything. Seemingly stupid decisions, only appear stupid if lacking the full story. At Nokia, there’s a secret story of a whole bigger picture where when you know it, everything makes sense.
Having such a narrow, pinhole view of Nokia, I only have an incomplete picture and can’t really accurately respond. Thus, without the bigger picture I may often rant about either irrelevant things, or issues Nokia are already deeply aware of.
There is always a chance that Nokia genuinely aren’t aware of certain issues and in that sense, I think it’ll always be good to criticize. Plus, Nokia discussions are always quite fun.