It's getting harder. As ZDNet's audience members get hip to the idea that I'm giving away technology that they can keep once I send it to them for testing, more people are trying to join my posse of deputy testers and the writeups are getting more and more creative. This week, ZDNet reader JC Decaro furnished a top ten reasons list (why s/he should be selected as this week's deputy tester of the week (to receive a free Microsoft LifeCam NX-6000, pictured below left) and reason #5 was that "I think David Berlind is really cool." Sorry, close, but no cigar JC (but I certainly appreciate the kind words...tell my wife and kids, will ya?).
In case you're not familiar with the program, about a month ago, I announced ZDNet's Deputy Tester of the Week Program. That's where members of ZDNet's audience vie for the opportunity to get free technology (technology they get to test, feedback to me, and ultimately keep when they're done). Since first starting the program, the posse has already grown to 9 deputy testers and this week, we're identifying our 10th tester (the one to receive the LifeCam pictured in this post).
As I wrote in my last post, the basic pitch is that this is a 2 megapixel video camera for adding video to your chats and it fits on the lid of your notebook computer. It also does 7.6 megapixel (interpolated) still images.
Although it’s primarily designed to work with Windows Live Messenger from Microsoft (Microsoft’s instant messaging client; it has a button designed to make a Live Messenger “call” with one touch), it can work with other video-capable instant messenging services as well. That said, since the Web cam is designed to integrate well with Live Messenger, one of the things we looked for in the "applications" was someone who planned to use it with Live Messenger. So, who did we pick? It was tough. After narrowing it down to about five entries (some long, some short, some pleaded, others not), we picked one.
ZDNet reader Tony wrote a pretty simple message to us that sounded about right. He travels. He uses Live Messenger. He claims to be technically challenged which is good because technology like this needs to foolproof. Here is what Tony wrote:
Let me have a shot: Job - Corporate Lawyer, Travel for work - constantly, Main Computer - HP Laptop, Keep in touch with office - Microsoft live messenger (and my Blackberry of course), My Technical skills - nearly non-existent. So if you want a real world analysis of how the thing works from someone constantly on the go with no real computer skills to speak of, thus the man on the street opinion.... then I am your guy.
Indeed, Tony, you're our guy this week. And, stay tuned to my blog this Monday when I'll have another cool product to give away to the next ZDNet Deputy Tester of the Week.