Successful Crowdsourcing With Dell’s IdeaStorm

The thought of implementing a crowdsourcing initiative does come with some challenges.   One of main sticking points is dealing with the disadvantages of using the approach to spark innovation.  The disadvantages can serve as short term barriers to reaching objectives as seen in the case of Dell’s platform, Idea Storm.

Launched in February 2007, many thought that the computer  technology giant was making an error in having an online presence that could be used for the following:

  • Posting of negative comments regarding the company’s products and services
  • Promoting competitors’ products and services
  • Posting of irrelevant content

There is not a doubt that Dell was confronted with such challenges; however, the company was unable to overcome them to the point the platform  is still going strong.   Figure 1 is a post from one community members of Idea Storm that was submitted and is under review, (Please Note: As of March 26th, 2012, there  were 16 000+ ideas submitted and 490 ideas implemented.)

Figure 1: Idea Suggestion Regarding Dell's Laptop Performance

To keep discussions regarding ideas focused, the platform has a section titled, “Storm Session” where members can contribute their two cents for a limited amount of time.   Figure 2 is a screenshot for the “What can Dell do to make IdeaStorm better?” Storm Session where 11 ideas were generated in the period of November 18th, 2010 to December 3, 2010.

Figure 2: "What can Dell do to make IdeaStorm better?" Storm Session

It is interesting to not that the level of engagement on IdeaStorm does not take away from the interactions and activities on the Dell Community website and other social media platforms (i.e., Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus).

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Intelegia is a boutique consulting firm in Montreal, Canada that understands the need to be innovative and strategic in a business landscape that’s evolving at an incredible pace. The firm delivers social media strategies to efficiently engage with stakeholders in economic development, business to business and business to consumer segments. It assists clients by defining and executing sustainable social web strategies that will allow their brand message to stand out in a competitive environment where target audience engagement is a must.

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