Yesterday we announced a partnership with PC World, a subsidiary of IDG, world's leading multi-billion dollar technology media company. With more than 8M unique visitors a month to its online property alone, PC World has been known for its test center, high quality expert reviews and news coverage of tech products (computing and electronics) since its inception in 1982. The partnership with Retrevo involves PC World linking to expert reviews of tech products written by its competitors along with user reviews and support information all aggregated and contextualized by Retrevo.
So what's the big deal? News media and jouralists' blogs link and syndicate already. Yes, but no one has done it in tech publishing. Can you imagine Car and Driver puting a review of the 2009 Porsche 911 Carrera from Road and Track right next to its own First Drive review? Nuts? Exactly. PC World is breaking new grounds in providing access to competitor information right from its own web site, in areas that have been (and still are) bread and butter of the company. No one (and I dare say no one) has done it in tech publishing so far. When we first brought this idea with PC World, no one jumped from their chairs (in excitement or denial). Scalability and coverage was an issue that the executive team at PC World had been grappling with already. Then in one of the meetings, Stephan Scherzer (the executive in-charge of PC World online) articulated their thinking that stuck with me "we want no dead ends for our audience". A simple but profound statement. There was this realization at the senior level at an established brand that no single publisher could create all the knowledge to keep up with the pace of innovation in computing and electronics world. That from an audience perspective, getting access to competing as well as complementary information was only a mouse click away. Would they attempt to keep the audience inside their walled garden limiting the flow of information or would they rather guide the audience to the right answer even if it took them to a competitor's site? There was this realization that opening up the access will only build a deeper affinity with their already loyal audience, now and in the future. PC World was telling its audience "whatever you need, we will help you get there". That there will be no dead ends!
At Retrevo, we live and breathe by the "open information" philosophy. Web is meant to provide us access to the information, the knowledge, the products and the services when we need them so we can live a better life (and be more productive). Days of walled garden approach are numbered. We have seen this in commerce, just look at what amazon and buy.com have done (providing pricing from competing sellers). We are seeing this in social media with open social and facebook platform. And we have all seen this in news media already. Media brands who recognize and embrace it will be the winners as we traverse the 21st century. We at Retrevo take pride in being the most comprehensive resource to get information about tech products. We want to be the catalyst that makes this "openness" real in tech media so everyday consumers can make confident buying decisions and enjoy their ownership experience with computing and electronics products.