This week I have to give a presentation to a slew of mostly non-blogging (Sun) heathens on Blogging @ Sun. Yep, I'm in recruitment mode - not that I ever left recruitment mode (Dave, Greg, Daryl, Darnell, etc). I have yet to create the presentation, but I pretty much know what I want to say regarding the "mechanics" of blogging, including what is blogging, why blog, how to blog, how it can help (or end) your career, guidelines (don't say anything stupid - something I have yet to learn), not to use mis-placed parentheses, what editors exist, not to write run-on sentences, etc. However, there is a section of the presentation I would like input on. The value of blogs.sun.com to you and to Sun.
I have my own experience of how Blogging has impacted me and my view of how Blogging has impacted Sun. However, I would like other Sun Bloggers to comment on how Blogging has impacted their career, strengthened internal/external relationships, etc. On the other side, the not-yet-customer/customer/partner, I would like to better understand how Sun Bloggers have impacted your view of Sun, your business relationship with Sun, your career, etc.
To start the discussion, I'll lay down some 60-to-80-words-per-minute ASCII on the topic - assuming backspace-backspace-backspace is a word. There's no doubt that folks think Sun is back, and no doubt that our product lineup has something to do with it. I would like to believe, though, that our recent success is partially due to the many communities we participate in. While many at Sun have done this for years, the growing number of employees participating within the growing number of open source projects widens the influence. In a similar vein, blogs.sun.com has helped Sun become more transparent, and customers respond in kind (read the thread). They equally influence Sun. Customers like transparency and, not surprisingly, Sun employees do as well. At 50K feet, the sales process is moving from customers buying from Sun to individuals buying from individuals. It's always been that way up close. Having been in sales, I can definitely say that blogs.sun.com has helped the process move to "people buy from people" on a much larger scale. At the same time, customer requirements are not hard to find enabling Sun to engineer more relevant products.
Now for what Blogging @ Sun has done for me. I've "met" (well, not face-to-face) some folks I now call friends. Ya' know it when ya' start asking about birthdays and kids. On another note, I feel that The Clingan Zone has enabled me to learn a lot in a short period of time thanks to the conversations I've had with blog readers that share a common interest. In turn, blog readers have told me The Clingan Zone has helped them decide to become Sun customers. Do the math and replicate that by the current 2886 blogs and we could be talking some serious business. Gotta clear out the non-blogging-heathen ranks @ Sun. Continuing on, The Clingan Zone has enabled me to enter new customer environments where I had already (and most often unknowingly) established a baseline of trust and credibility. My job became a bit easier. And frankly, more enjoyable. Blogging has also raised my visibility within Sun. More employees know who I am and come to me for help in my area(s) of expertise. In return, I know a boatload more Sun employees through their blogs and, heck yeah, I call them for their areas of expertise. My job got easier again. In a highly work-at-home sales force, the Blog has become a pseudo water cooler.
Back to the point, how do you think Blogging @ Sun has impacted Sun ... and you?