SXSW Session: The Future of Corporate Blogs

Jenn and I are in the first session of the day...and we learned our lesson from yesterday. We got to the session early and actually have seats. This is a panel discussion with Mack Collier, moderator (The Viral Garden), Kami Huyse (Communication Overtones), Lionel Menchaca (Direct2Dell), and Mario Sundar (LinkedIn).

Lionel talks about Dell's path to corporate blogs: that they made sense for Dell, that they needed a tool to open a two-way conversation and that blogs were the ticket. Dell's blog has run for a year and half and currently gets 1 million page views a week.

Mario, LinkedIn's Community Evangelist has been on the job for just under a year. His point it that the blog and social media in a larger sense helps him to
listens to what users are talking about in terms of LinkedIn and get back to them about what can be fixed and what is impossible to fix. He feels that a corporate blog is a must have. And while it would seem a silly question to some of the folks in the audience, they did ask the question: Should we allow comments? They chose to do so, but Mario notes that some corporate blogs, like Google, don't.

Kami stresses the fact that companies need to sit down and have a conversation about where your community is. Are they online? What tool are they using? Is it Facebook? Is it Yahoo! Groups? Find where they are and GO there. And then LISTEN. And then she said, my favorite line of the session: It's not about YOU it's about THEM. Once you've found them and started the conversation, start looking at the metrics. Benchmark yourself against your competition re: how many mentions? What about tonality? Engagement? Subscriptions?

Key Takeaways from this panel:
Social media, at it's best, addresses issues and concerns of the community in a timely manner, turning negative influencers/influences into positive one. The future should focus on increasing the speed of responding to your community and enriching their experience with your product and technologies.

Since Jenn and I come from a culture of corporate blogging at Sun (in fact, Kami was clear that for those of us in the tech industry some of this presentation may be passe) this session served to reinforce how we, as a company, are firmly in this space and, apologies for sounding cheesy, it made us feel proud to be working at Sun.

And, I'd be remiss not to plug the boss's blog:
http://blogs.sun.com/jonathan/

And our Senior Director's blog too (helps that she wrote up SXSW too!):
http://blogs.sun.com/softwear_chic/

Okay....time to run (no joke, did I mention this place is HUGE)...to the session with Michael Eisner...stay tuned!

-Heidi

Comments:

Thanks for the feedback. I am glad you found the session useful. I hope the rest of your SXSW was great.

Posted by Kami Huyse on March 12, 2008 at 07:04 AM PDT #

Thanks for dropping by the session where Lionel spoke; mack did a great job and Kami and Mario we thought really broadened the direction. Great to get the feedback and hope you had a good time in our home city :-)

Posted by RichardatDELL on March 12, 2008 at 07:27 AM PDT #

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