By Jill McCubbin

techcrunch.gifTechCrunch is an A-list blog dedicated to profiling new technology, gadgets and Internet companies. Technorati ranks TechCrunch as the 3rd most authoritative blog in the world (as of 27 Sept. 2007). From a Wall Street Journal report, “Dogster got a life-changing spike in visitor traffic” after a blog review was posted on TechCrunch.

As a Conversation Architect at market2world I’m constantly approaching editors at online publications and blog sites such as TechCrunch, TUAW (The Unoffiial Apple Weblog), Wired’s Gadget Lab, etc. to review new technology products. Often I have to make initial contact through a form – a process that can be frustrating for a number of reasons. To be honest, I am unconvinced that a submission via an impersonal online contact form is an acceptable type of two-way “communication” in a world where marketing is supposed to be conversation.

This said, my experience with TechCrunch was different. In my view, TechCrunch has mastered a process that results in repeatedly facilitating timely product reviews and communicating up-to-the-minute technology industry news. In fact, my experience with TechCrunch was so deeply satisfying I just had to blog about it.

During a recent launch of QuoteMedia’s new Quotestream II Beta, a configurable portfolio management application for streaming stock market data to smart phones, PDAs and desktop PCs, I contacted TechCrunch by way of the TechCrunch contact form. The TechCrunch form is unlike any other we’ve seen – it’s a “Web 2.0” form that encourages the sharing of information, ensures with confidence that my request will be considered, uses courteous, straightforward language, and is professional in design and tone.

The TechCrunch form solicits a company profile and the product to be discussed. This information is used by the TechCrunch team to filter through and more quickly assess the many review requests they receive. Also, a Web page presented after my submission states with confidence that I’ll be contacted soon, rather than “sometime”. This is more reassurance that I’ve entered a two-way communication vs. a dead-end.

Approximately seven minutes after I sent my Quotestream II Beta review request to TechCrunch, I received a call by a TechCrunch reviewer. We discussed QuoteMedia and its latest product, and I immediately sent the required information to have it considered as a review candidate. This is now a working relationship based on a very efficient front-end communications process I’d love to see emulated at other tech product review sites.

As a professional communications gal, I create dependable and effective working relationships with hundreds of media people, all the while locating new PR opportunities for my clients. And so, here’s my chance to thank the many online publications – like TechCrunch – that make my job more satisfying and a whole lot more productive.

(Jill McCubbin is a Communications Architect with market2world communications Inc., Canada's tech PR and product launch agency.)