LR’s Monthly Editorial: February 2006

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Marketing Departments Exchange First Blows

In last months editorial we talked about the year in general and informed out readers to be smart consumers of 2006. One month later the marketing departments of numerous companies are working overtime to dig the trench line and fight for your hard earned money.

nVidia Paid People To Post In Forums?  Like OMG!

Do you read computer hardware forums and believe everything you read? I hate to be blunt, but if you do then you are naive. For years numerous companies have posted in forums under various user names that have no relation to who they work for. It started out trying to stay low, but in recent months many companies are using gorilla marketing techniques to tear up competitors or build hype for their products. In years past numerous companies used to have ?beta testers? of their products. These beta testers were carefully selected by companies to help market and promote their products. They tend to get those with high post counts, so they could be respected and offered to send them free unreleased parts to test. While this doesn?t sound odd their was one catch ? these beta testers had to post up their results. Little did these beta testers know they were seeded with cherry picked parts and used like guinea pigs to build hype and press for the company that just used them. I know of a number of companies that still do this today and don?t think twice about it. One company that just was exposed for doing this was nVidia. The Consumerist wrote up a little piece about it and I actually feel sorry for nVidia, because all companies do this. While the Legit Forums has a number of companies on the member list I make sure they play by the rules and watch their IP addresses to make sure they don’t have multiple accounts from work or home. 

The Memory Industry

Of all the niche markets in the computer business the memory industry is indisputability the most cut throat of them all and things are bound to get ugly in 2006. Actually it already has! Over the past few months the memory industry has played musical chairs with a number of key employees from numerous companies. The two companies that have exchanged the most employees just happen to be Corsair Memory and OCZ Technology. OCZ managed to hire on a number of Corsair?s sales team members and a production line manager, while Corsair managed to hire on one of the people that got the OCZ Power Stream Power Supply out the door. What does all this mean? Taking a logical guess it means that OCZ is trying to get a better distribution channel going and Corsair wants to get into power supplies (and we are certain they won’t be the only one to do so). Are the two companies happy with each other? Of course not, and this is evident by Corsair?s singling out OCZ?s heat spreader in a recent document that was sent to out to review sites. What I find interesting is that the other big US memory companies (Crucial, Kingston, Mushkin) are just sitting tight for the time being. Speaking of memory companies keep your eye out for Super Talent as they hired on the ex-director of marketing from Corsair.  They just started sending out press releases and just today launched the worlds fastest available 2GB DDR2 memory kit.

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