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The new influencers: Fred Wilson


Photo by Nando Ponce

Fred Wilson may not know much about mobile phones, but his opinion about mobile phones matters.

Actually, Fred is a New York VC, and as far as I know he's only made one small investment into a mobile business. So, why should Nokia, Sony Ericsson and other mobile brands care about Fred Wilson's holidays?

Because Fred is an A-list blogger, and lots of people read what Fred writes about everything. Fred has 125K daily subscribers to his blogs feed and thousands of people visit and read A VC every day.

A few weeks ago, Fred told his readers that he was planning to be be a social media monster with the new Nokia N95 during his upcoming holiday trip to Europe. He wrote:
I'll have qik, twitter, flickr, tumblr, and a host of other services tightly integrated with the phone and I want to post directly from the phone. I am sure I can get all of this to work pretty well.

But the thing I want some advice on is what's the best way to deal with the carrier on the phone. I am currently thinking that I'll keep my blackberry for email and phone calls and get a good roaming plan from t-mobile and keep using my phone number while I am in Europe.
He got a ton of traffic and 49 comments from people all giving him advice and information.

A few weeks later and now about to leave for his trip to Europe, Fred has begun to blog about his first thoughts with his new N95. The good, the bad, the ugly
It's not the greatest phone, but it's one hell of a camera. My blackberry could not have taken such a crisp picture and my Canon SD750 wouldn't have done much better. I also shot some video and it was equally good. But honestly, I suspect I'll mostly use the N95 as a camera (still and video) and not much else.
If I were doing marketing for Nokia, Id be offering Fred some free help setting things up. Maybe even a free SIM card during his trip. Id certainly be paying close attention to what hes doing. At the very least, I'd be joining in the conversation on Fred's blog.

What should competitors like Sony Ericsson, LG, and Apple do? Given how impressed Fred is with the N95s camera, is it unreasonable to think that a Cybershot would not impress him? Where are the other "Fred Wilsons" (sorry Fred), and what are people doing to capture their interest in an open and transparent way?

Kinda reminds me of those old EF Hutton ads from the 1980s "When E. F. Hutton talks, people listen" ... except this time round it is the people doing the talking and the brands who should be listening.


Tuesday, June 24, 2008   permalink to archived copy   del.icio.us   DiggIt  

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