I'll write a longer post soon but for now, I thought I'd officially post about my new Nikon D80 which I received from Nikon (via MWW Group)
I have to tell you that in my humble opinion, this has been the best example of blogger outreach I have either experienced (first hand) or read about.
It shares the same characteristics as the Sprint Ambassador program (of which I am a member as well), namely follow-through. Whereas the Sprint program has sent me 3 rounds of phones and service, the Nikon approach was a lot more subtle. It began with a more conventional blogger outreach following their sublime CGC meets partnership Flickr campaign. I happened to blog about this - favorably. Perhaps this was the trigger that in essence self-selected me as a prime candidate for the "surprise" follow-up.
I love this campaign for many reasons. Yes, of course I now have an approximately $1,000 camera, but that's not it by a long shot. I am not crowing because I got something for nothing (it's actually on loan and I have the choice to extend the loan for 6 months, give it back or purchase it at a substantially reduced editorial discount - the monies going to charity), but rather because the camera helps me be a better blogger/contributor. Nikon has become a conduit or catalyst and in providing me the camera, I'm now giddy with enthusiasm...I've finally activated my Flickr account and am taking pictures like a kid in a candy store.
You may think Nikon has bought me. They haven't. And I'd argue damn hard against anyone who wants to challenge me on this. I have nothing to gain or lose by talking about the camera or the program...and talk I will. And a lot.
This helps continue to legitimize the blogosphere and the new influencers (and I'm not talking about myself, but rather the entire community)
It's smart as hell. This post alone should offset whatever the camera cost Nikon and if you multiply the total cost of the program (I have no idea how many bloggers signed up) by the cost of the camera, shipping etc., it probably will come out under a single half page print advertisement that had to kill a tree for it to live for one day - and one day only.
Anyway, gotta catch a plane. Expect plenty of pics from beautiful Sydney (sorry, Mitch) and remember: with full disclosure, I got this from Nikon and their agency, MWW.