Sunday, January 29, 2006

Must Read: Lego's Consumer Partnerships

Discussed in this post: Electric Artists, Wired Magazine, Legos

I did a short session last Friday at at event sponsored by the agency Electic Artists. On the way out the door, they gave a bag with a few thank yous, including the current issue of Wired, a magazine that I admit I haven't read since the middle of the boom.

In the early days of the consumer Internet, Wired was an amazing resource. The magazine wasn't about technology, but it was about people and technology. It was about life, in the presence of technology. Then, the cash started flowing, the magazine swelled up to an ad-packed mess and the articles seemed to be more about clever ways to spend all that IPO cash. I let me subscription die (and, actually, moved on to blogs at about the same time).

But this gift from the agency may actually bring me back. I left the session and went directly to JFK for my flight home, and got a chance to spend some tme. OK--there's an article about how all this cash is coming into Web 2.0 companies. But there's also this: Geeks in Toyland, a short (cover page) article about how Lego enlisted a small number of dedicated fans to help design the next evolution of their Mindstorm robot-tools.

The article is a great CGM/consumer:manufacturer case study, so they sort of had me at "hello". But the focus is not on the technology, but rather about the way that the technology has been adopted by the community. This remains the biggest hole in technology journalism. If Wired is back on that beat, I may just have to re-subscribe.
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