PR PLAY OF THE WEEK: 3Com interviews a planet of people

'Have you ever had a dream and then actually lived that dream in real life?'

'Have you ever had a dream and then actually lived that dream in real life?'

'Have you ever had a dream and then actually lived that dream in real life?'

Network technology giant 3Com's answer would have to be yes, having scored a massive publicity coup last week with the unveiling of its Planet Project, an ambitious and expensive (if not terribly scientific) Internet poll with global reach - from which the above question is a sample.

Billed as the 'first global interactive poll of the human race,' the Planet Project aims to survey millions the world over on a series of soft-pitch questions ranging from slightly sexy to just plain silly.

The project will dispatch upwards of 3000 laptop-toting pollsters over four days this November, conducting interviews in eight languages and in more than 116 different countries, from Bangladesh to Botswana, the backwaters of the Amazon to the Australian Outback. Wired users can, of course, simply surf on over to the site to enter their responses.

And it isn't all talk. As part of the project, the company will spend some dollars 1 million wiring classrooms around the world.

3Com Senior PR Manager Mark Plungy talks of reaching across the 'digital divide' to the 'unconnected,' and says the aim of the project is to hold a 'digital mirror' to humanity that bridges geographic, economic and cultural boundaries.

'There are two things common to all people,' says Plungy. 'There's an innate sense of curiosity - we're all curious as to how others see us - and there's also a deep desire for a sense of community. We all want to know we're not alone out there.'

Warm and fuzzy as the project's goals may sound, it carries a powerful punch. With the polling still a month away, the company has already racked up dozens of press hits.





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