Dell ReGeneration: A “real” social media campaign or Astroturf?

So, it looks like Dell (DELL) has given its latest eco project the full social media wrapper. According to blogger Lewis Green, his encounter began with a Twitter alert from “RichardDELL” inviting him to visit ReGeneration, a site dedicated to all things green. Though from all accounts it’s a Dell-staffed and driven project, the site grandly characterizes ReGeneration as a “global movement.” But let’s forgive that for a moment and look at the content.

The site includes a nifty application allowing people to enter their thoughts on the meaning of “green” (and have them interactively displayed on a beautifully executed interactive “wall”), video and text blog entries, eco-news, Web tools allowing people to estimate their environmental impact and links to supporting organizations.

My feeling is that while this is a pretty site with some nice content, it lacks a true social component, in that it’s still Dell pushing out its view of things (however crunchy, cool and green that view is) while cloaking itself in social media tools. After all, the site doesn’t offer any direct means of communicating with Dell, or even with other visitors to the site, provides no widgets to connect people (why not Twitter?) and provides no links to other social media forums like Facebook or MySpace (though for all I know such may exist.)

My take is that this is a nice effort, but not really a piece of social media marketing. To me, if Dell wanted to connect with the social media movement, it’d do more real listening  and less preaching. But what do you think? — Anne

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3 responses to “Dell ReGeneration: A “real” social media campaign or Astroturf?

  1. Pingback: Myspace » Dell ReGeneration: A “real” social media campaign or Astroturf?

  2. Anne,

    If you click on any headline, you can comment on any of the posts. And also note that most of the stories are not about DELL. I do not own any DELL products but I do want to encourage businesses to consider DELL’s approach to Social Media (they have two other blogs), and also want to encourage businesses to discuss Green. Thanks for your post and the shout out.

  3. Anne–

    Did you see the contest that Dell through ReGeneration.Org is putting on with an application within Facebook?
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Graffiti-ReGeneration-Contest-What-does-green-mean-to-you/8831548311

    This might help win you over. The idea to allow the community to create their message around what green means to them and then have a conversation about it in Facebook and at ReGeneration.org is admirable and innovative.

    (Disclosure: I’m biased because I helped with the project, but would still like to get your feedback.)

    James

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