Another purchase influenced by social media

I recently blogged in Weblogs lead me to two purchases about how a blog post and user comment helped influence me to procure a service from AuthSmtp. This posting is about the second purchase.

After the original post, a couple of people mentioned to me offline that this was not so big of a deal, because the commitment I made to AuthSmtp was only for $2/month. Thus, they were implying that the purchase price hurdle was sufficiently low for me to be influenced by a couple of websites. My downside was pretty low.

My second purchase was a more substantial commitment. I was not in the market for a new mobile phone or PDA, so I was not actively searching to make a purchase. One of the blogs to which I subscribe, Infectious Greed by Paul Kedrosky had a post about the Treo 700p. It was called I heart by Treo 700p. It was pretty clear that Paul was recommending this device.

I’ve been perpetually frustrated trying to get to a single mobile device that can handle email/text communication, web surfing and be a reliable phone all is one. The kicker is that it needs to be in a form factor that is comfortable to carry and use, and does not make you look like you’re speaking into a hand calculator. Sorry to be so vain, but I just don’t like the way I feel talking into one of those blackberries (of which I have owned three).

Having seen and held the Treos before, I was not sure I’d like this new one. I have a problem typing on their keypads. However, Paul’s referral piqued me to take a look at this new model.

I next went to Phone Scoop, which in my humble opinion is the best place to get honest feedback, reviews and specs on mobile devices. I read the reviews there on the Treo device, and then looked at the Motorola Q and refreshed myself on what others were saying about the Blackberry just to be sure I wasn’t being overly cynical.

Now I had to see it in-person and went to visit Verizon Wireless. I tested the 700p, 700w, and the Motorola Q. With that in-person experience, I was ready to buy. The device was $350, and I decided to switch providers from Cingular to Verizon Wireless to boot. My monthly bill from Verizon for phone minutes and data will be around $100/month. This is a little more of a commitment than $2/month.

What’s more, the Treo 700p allows me to connect my MacBook Pro via Bluetooth to the phone and surf the Web on the MacBook using the Verizon high speed EVDO network. No wires, no card, and just about anytime acccess.

Plus, I do love the form factor of the Treo! Finally an all-in-one device I feel I can use all of the time.

I can say with confidence that this purchase may never have happened if I didn’t browse Paul’s post and feel compelled to take a look, and if the reviews on Phonescoop didn’t convince me to make the trip to the store. It was an individual user and a community of reviews that got me started and over any major objections.

— brian