To put it mildly, it hasn't been the best year for Dell Computer.
The PC maker became the butt of endless jokes over a series of explosive incidents involving its laptops. One Australian newspaper even carried story headlined, "Dell laptop became a flamethrower."
Even before those incendiary stories began, Dell had lost much credibility among consumers and businesses on issues ranging from support to servers. The launch of the company's official blog, which was designed to bring the company closer to its customers, was met with predictable derision.
So it was of little surprise that Dell garnered scant sympathy over its latest PR challenge, the recall of more than 4 million batteries. The ensuing bile proved once again that, in the blogosphere, you can't run and you can't hide.
Blog community response:
"I read something about a mysterious exploding laptop recently, apparently associated with Dell's Battery Recall of December 2005. But I thought, 'Hey, that was so long ago. Dell couldn't possibly be so irresponsible as to still have this problem in my brand new laptop purchased shortly before July 18, 2006.' Silly me."
--The Gathering of Cherubs
"After people began to realize that their Dell might just explode on them, Dell did something most people would do--sit there and do nothing... Well it seems as though after this explosion happened to six different people, they've decided to take a stance."
--Thoughts on Technology Today
"While we are a little wary of one Dell exec's statement that they're 'getting ahead of the issue,' which in our opinion would have actually been issuing this recall four months ago, we're glad they're finally taking care of business before someone actually gets hurt."