I agree that it is strange to have the CEO spend so much time talking to testers. Frankly, odd to have him call at all.
But there is nothing negative about it and there is lots of information - much of it hard to put into words on the forum. Many things work better when you actually have a TB in front of you than if you are limited to just hearing the words.
But I gave one example awhile back - where he had me just touch a character, but push down with a pencil eraser on another character which was on the same keycap. Even though all the force was from the pencil, the character that I actually got was where my finger was. But if I did the pencil eraser without my finger touching another key, I got the character under the eraser. It helped show how their touch tech worked.
Much of the talk was going through how the tech worked. Heck, when done I couldn't remember a lot of it since there was so much. But it was useful.
Also some stuff is about their philosophy. Not as much interest there, but it does matter. Since I already had a good feel for this from their posts here, much of that was not new for me.
I think these talks are also something Mark enjoys. Now, like here, you probably aren't going to get any info about status (though sometimes something comes out), but even without that, you learn a lot.
As for "propaganda move", I certainly figure they are aware that having people with the device and posting about it has value to their business. But it is also a risk. The NDA has minuscule limits. We can report to anyone we want to and if it wasn't good, that sure wouldn't help WT!
I know some people will say testers won't say anything negative because they don't want to lose their TB. But that's nonsense. If they really don't like it, why would they care if they lost it? They'd just cancel their order.
So what is important in this is that it is hard to find any criticism of the device from testers. You might find people who have issues adjusting, but those seem short-lived and adjustment is a normal thing. And some have at various times had issues reported here with bluetooth or the la-la state or, earlier, some swapped characters.
But I never would have expected such overwhelmingly consistent positive reports before I got it myself. I still find it hard to believe that I have a "mobile keyboard" that is vastly better than any full sized keyboard I've ever used!
Go ahead and apply. At first I didn't, because I just figured they would be looking for people with credentials in computer tech, but another person convinced me to go ahead and I got lucky that they didn't just want those kind of people.