Palm Opens Official Developer Blog, Opens Up to Community | webOS Nation

Palm Opens Official Developer Blog, Opens Up to Community

by Dieter Bohn Thu, 15 Jan 2009 11:20 am EST

If you're a longtime follower of Palm and a longtime member of the Palm community, you likely have heard at one point or another that Palm as a company has as convoluted a history dealing with the community as they do with mergers, splits, and acquisitions (in other words: very convoluted).  We've long hoped for Palm to 'open up' and talk with the community openly and candidly about what they're doing.

Things are getting better now that Palm is able to talk openly about webOS.  Much better.  Read on to find out why.

There have been plenty of good moves of late -- especially the fact that they started the Official Palm Corporate Blog a couple years ago.  We're also pleased to see them on Twitter (and also pleased that they're following on Twitter as well).  Recently, Andrew Shebanow, the person in charge of "third party application distribution" at Palm posted up a blog asking some very interesting questions for the community, including

  • how would you like to see application installation work? Application updating?
  • should palm provide a complete payment processing story or stay out of everyone’s way?
  • should payment be handled in-application or prior to download or both?
  • how should trials and tryouts work?

There were other questions as well -- all very cool and all very relevant and engaging.  Of course, Palm is already pretty far along with their plans, so it's not as if they haven't already made decisions on some of these issues.  Still -- awesome to see a Palm employee talking so candidly about these issues and asking for input in a way that makes clear Palm actually cares and may act upon our answers.  This is diametrically opposed to that other company you may have seen make a splash in the moble space recently.

We did have a slight flutter of fear, however, when after a Daring Fireball link to the post, which was here (here is the Google Cache copy of the post), the post was taken down because it got a lot more attention than Palm expected.  We were worried they were going to distance themselves from those questions and the community's interest in them.  Instead, Palm embraced them:

The internal discussion has been completed, and we’re going to relocate the conversation over to Palm’s official developer blog as soon as my author account gets created and I can write it up. Turns out by posting what I did I ended up “volunteering” myself for additional developer outreach work…

Good on you, Palm, for actively engaging you developer community from the get-go. Good on you too, Shebanow, for (inadvertently) leading the charge.  Although Shebanow's post is up there yet, you can find the Palm Official Developer Blog here: