Editorial on Palm's Blog Plans
PalmLoyal has written a potentially controversial piece on what Palm's recently-launched corporate blog means for the company's future plans. The author of the PalmLoyal editorial, Carl Brooks, argues that certain missed features longed for in Palm Treos (think wi-fi) are absent not due to technical considerations but because only a small percentage of wireless smartphone users are also wi-fi users. In short, the PalmLoyal article claims that the "average" Treo user is ill-equipped to deploy wi-fi onto a smartphone device that is already equipped with an EDGE or EVDO data connection. The author then goes on to advise Treo users to just take a patient "wait and see approach".
Mr. Brooks also claims that the initial handful of posts from various Palm staff are extremely helpful in that the basic, rudimentary information and advice given in the blog is suitable only for novice users. No mention is made concerning the furor raised by the delayed 700p ROM update or Palm's noncommittal stance on what it really will and will not fix.
Palm are taking small but fruitful steps on the way to becoming a more open corporate entity with a (hopfully) more sincere attitude and appreciate of their customer base. Essentially, the establishment of a corporate blog is is a long overdue but still welcome step in the right direction. But in my personal opinion, such a forum would be far more effectively utilized by an ongoing dialog between Palm management and power users and/or long-time stalwart supporters of the platform. The "official yet unofficial" nature of the corporate blog is seemingly better suited for this sort of nitty-gritty communication than casually dispensing advice or software recommendations to novice users.
The official Palm Blog is not the first time one of the Palm-companies has tried to lend a helping hand to novice users. PalmSource's (now part of Access) own "expert guides" were the brainchild of then-president Michael Mace. These guides were established several years ago and culled from information commonly available online as well as from user contributions. While rather dated, the expert guides still contain a good amount of information and links to useful applications for specific fields and topics.