Swag bags are currently in Beta Testing for Silicon Discourse.

The general idea of our Swag Bags is to get promotional items from vendors into the hands of our members. These items will range from T Shirts and hats, to real products such as Azulle PC Sticks and Icy Dock hard drive enclosures.

Our members are interested in these products because they are real members of the technology professional community, and getting free items makes geeks excited to an almost disturbing degree. (How many conferences do you go to with geeks who make well into the six figures, and yet they’re drinking crap beer because it”s “free”?).  It’s easy to forget that most tech professionals cannot attend conferences, and may never attend a conference.  So all of those vendor giveaway items we take for granted are still very special to many people.

For vendors this is an exceptionally low cost way to do marketing.  You’re getting your items directly into the hands of tech professionals cheap.  Currently we are charging nothing for vendors to participate.  You simply send your items to me, and then I’ll pack individual boxes to ship out to members.

Vendors are able to advertise to a niche of a niche.  Your items are going not just to people that already follow Eli the Computer Guy, but ones willing to pay for membership to ask questions on Silicon Discourse.  Additionally there is a second opt-in process where Silicon Discourse members have to specifically add their address, and preference information into the giveaway system. So your items go to: People that follow Eli the Computer Guy, AND pay to members of Silicon Discourse, AND manually add their information to the giveaway system.

Beyond the items going into the hands of our members vendors also receive the advertising of being promoted on most live shows. During the show I’ll take a minute to talk about the current giveaway items, and show viewers whats currently being shipped out.

Items will be distributed in a semi random fashion.  Vendors can provide as many, or as few items as they like.  This obviously means not everyone will receive every item. We will use the information that the members provide, plus look at what they have received historically to determine who gets what.  An NOC Engineer would be more likely to receive something from INE, and a Desktop Support person may be more likely to receive a PC Stick from Azulle.

To signup for the giveaways we will send out an email blast approx. once per week.  On THAT email blast there is a link to provide personal information for the giveaways. This is so that the data is segregated from the main site for security purposes.

To be clear we do not sell, nor giveaway our members information.  Any communication between vendors and members will go through our system. The only thing we may provide vendors is aggregated data about our members. This may mean how many members we have in certain geographic areas, Titles of our members, or things such as what types of phones members have.  This may be provided simply to verify that the vendors giveaway is appropriate to our member base.  (I don’t want to receive 50 Galaxy 8 cases if none of our members own one.)


Swag Bags should not be considered a guaranteed benefit of Silicon Discourse.  Even if this project makes it out of the beta stage it will still be considered an additional thing that members may or may not receive.