We're always pleased to see companies opening up to their customers, friends and fans, and we've been watching our friends at Pimoroni's new project with interest: the Bilge Tank, a regular live show in which the team show off their latest creations and answer incoming questions.
For too many companies - even those in the otherwise open and friendly world of the maker - customer interaction is strictly limited. There'll be the occasional news post, typically limited to new product launches, and other than that the only interaction comes when someone emails in with a query or complaint. It's a shame, because for any company to succeed it really has to understand its customers, and that requires a dialogue. It's one of the reasons we release our product designs under an open-source licence: what better way to encourage a conversation than letting people hack around with the stuff you're building?
Pimoroni's Bilge Tank takes the conversation to the next level, putting a camera in front of the team and broadcasting live. Dubbed the Bilge Tank, in-keeping with the company's pirate theme, the weekly broadcast sees customers, fans and friends invited to see the latest happenings at the company and raise questions and comments via Twitter using the hashtag #bilgetank. Episodes broadcast thus far include using the ESP8266 as a web server, a look back at Maker Faire New York and Maker Faire Berlin.
For anyone interested in seeing the things a maker company finds interesting, a full list of broadcasts is available from the Pimoroni forum.