With the relentless barrage of Wolfram Alpha media coverage all over the net these days (including plenty here at the Hub), it is easy to get “news fatigue” about the company. You start wanting to tune them out. You might even start disliking the company, hoping for the demise of the media’s latest darling. But Wolfram Alpha is different.
In its latest show of innovation, we now learn that Wolfram Alpha will turn its launch into a “community” event. People the world over can watch the Wolfram Alpha team on a live webcast as they try to pull off their ambitious launch. Although the site is officially slated to launch on May 18, starting later today anyone interested can watch the Wolfram Alpha team as they build up for the official launch on a public channel on Justin.tv.
This very public, community style launch is one of the first of its kind, and it is brilliant. Wolfram Alpha’s “community” launch humanizes the company by allowing us to take a peek inside and watch the engineers as they attempt to pull off their task. Now any failures or glitches that occur during the launch will be seen as stumbles that we can all identify with, rather than as mishaps to be ridiculed. The huge pressure that has been building up for a flawless first day launch is thus conveniently deflated. We are now converted into fans of the Wolfram Alpha launch team, rooting for them and even conversing with them as they work.
Even as Wolfram Alpha seeks to shake up the information industry with its new question answering engine, it is clear that the company is also charting new territory in the way that a fledgling company can present itself to the world. Just last week we wrote about Wolfram Alpha’s highly innovative and unorthodox “all at once” launch strategy. Now they are innovating with a webcast of the launch. It seems every time I feel myself getting sick of the company, Wolfram Alpha comes out with another cool innovation that draws me back in to root for them. This is definitely a company to watch.