Is Intel’s Open Port community site too commercial?

There's nothing like a little criticism to spark reflection and introspection. Well, usually after a hefty dose of denial and defensiveness first. But we're all about community self actualization here so I thought I'd take this opportunity to open up the dialogue and invite your feedbackpositive or constructiveon this site and our efforts in various new media forums across the web. Here goes.

Holding up the mirror

As a background, recently Open Port and our community managers received some criticism from the community-at-large that the site, and our technical experts, were too focused on marketing objectives. IT Blogger rodtrent on his myITForum.com blog complains that when he attempted to find vPro information on Open Port, he noticed in a discussion that the community was "inundated with responses from vendors about how their management product was the best." Additionally, in an Intel-sponsored forum on popular IT fansite Ars Technica a community member laments how he is tired of hearing the product name vPro in the forum.

So these criticisms are valid. We want you to know we hear you. And we wanted to ask more of you to join this conversation. What do you think? Are we "doing it right?" And by "it" I mean does Open Port enable tech enthusiasts and IT professionals like yourselves the opportunity to engage in technical discussions and connect with others who have similar interests in Intel technology?

The Nacho Analogy

In the spirit of engaged dialogue, I wanted to propose an analogy that might help frame the discussion. My colleague Bob Duffy came up with a brilliant one I thought I'd share with you. It has to do with nachos. He noticed that nearly every restaurant you visit includes nachos on their menu. And let's face it, some nachos are better than others, depending on the restaurant. So what makes a good nacho, you ask? Bob says it is the "cheese to chip ratio." The best nachos, Bob claims, have a well balanced ratio between cheese to chip. Too much cheese can drown the chip. And too much chip can be dry and difficult to swallow.

The same holds true, he argues, for commercial information in community conversations. Since this site is on Intel.com, there is going to be some element of cheese (aka marketing). But the chip (aka non-commercial information) is the foundation of the information that is shared among the community and should be the crux of the community conversations. So what is a good community chip-to-cheese ratio? Is it 20% commercial information (or marketing) and 80% technical data?

You decide. And while you're at it, can someone please figure out how to make the real cheese as liquidy and gooey as the fake cheese product they put on nachos?