How do you best communicate with 18,000 members?

Of course the answer to that question is a lot of different things.

Our developer community is immensely important to us. We have always maintained that good apps make our technology shine. The amazing application support from the developer community is a very big part of the success and penetration our technologies have in the marketplace.

What is important to their reality, is incredibly important to us.

So how do you best pick the brains of 18,000 developers? How do you best communicate with 18,000 developers?

I wish I had the time to communicate personally with each and every one of you. Obviously that is not the case. So it is important for our work supporting our developers that we keep working and experimenting with different means of communication with our members; to best serve our developer community with the means we have available.

I enjoy very much attending trade shows, conferences and exhibitions, which allows me to meet face to face with a good number of our developers. Nothing really beats good old analogue face to face communication for building relationships, but the reach is unfortunately very limited. So in addition we have used a number of different methods of communication:

Our PowerVR Insider newsletters have been well received in our community since their inception in 2005. However, a newsletter is in nature a mono-directional format of communication, and we don’t learn very much about our developers from this form of communication. Newsletters excel in delivering information, which is not awfully time sensitive and where greater level of detail is needed.

We also use mail shots on occasion. Mail shots are used to direct attention to time critical opportunities such as an impending submission deadline of a competition. We try to limit the use of these, because we do realise that a lot of people do not welcome getting occasional unsolicited emails. In terms of two-way communication, our mail shots have however started very good and ultimately fruitful discussions with our developers.

Our Twitter channel is used for fast and tiny bites of information. Since starting last year it has enjoyed good and steady growth and we will continue to use this interesting tool. However Twitter is also mostly a very mono-directional form of communication.

The forums on the PowerVR Insider website is used for concrete trouble shooting and assistance among members of our community as well as our DevTech support team. The forums do tend to be a place where developers are happy to submit suggestions. However with the public nature of forums, longer and meaningful conversations can only go so far before confidentiality becomes an issue. The forums are also unique in the way that they allow our 3rd party developers to engage with each other.

I want to use the lovely flexibility and speed of a blog to communicate about any and everything of value to our developers. In particular it offers us the opportunities of writing substantial commentaries from trade shows and conferences while being on the road. Another aspect I am looking forward to is the rich opportunities for our members to comment on and discuss blog posts, and thus turning this into bidirectional communication. We work with many influential and visionary developers, whom I would like to engage to write occasional guest blogs here. So welcome to the POWERVR Insider blog, I hope you will enjoy it, and above else find it useful for your development work. Let your voice be heard in the comment section, so we can keep keeping it relevant to your work.