Fortune: No Escaping Blogs

Robert Scoble points to Fortune's article on corporate blogging -- "Why There's No Escaping the Blog." It's a pretty long piece and pretty well done, too.

Some nice info on how Scoble's honesty is helping to improve Microsoft's reputation:

When it came to the criticism emanating from Boing Boing, Scoble simply ... agreed. "MSN Spaces isn't the blogging service for me," he wrote. Nobody at Microsoft asked Scoble to comment; he just did it on his own, adding that he would make sure that the team working on Spaces was aware of the complaints. And he kept revisiting the issue on his blog. As the anti-Microsoft crowd cried censorship, the nearly 4,000 blogs linking to Scoble were able to see his running commentary on how Microsoft was reacting. "I get comments on my blog saying, 'I didn't like Microsoft before, but at least they're listening to us,'" says Scoble. "The blog is the best relationship generator you've ever seen."

That last sentence in Scoble's quote is the kicker. I think Sun has come a long way to implementing that very thought with the blogs on BSC and the other Sun blogs not hosted on BSC but aggregated on Planet Sun. I talk to developers and system administrators for the OpenSolaris project, and they all say they are reading the Solaris engineering blogs. And more are commenting now, too. The conversation is, indeed, well under way. And I can easily point to the benefits in my own little job.

Here are a couple of Sun bits from the article:

The biggest chunk of the 5,000 or so corporate bloggers comes from Microsoft, but others work at Monster.com, Intuit, and Sun Microsystems -- where even the company's acerbic No. 2, Jonathan Schwartz, gets in on the action. (A recent Schwartz post openly criticizes competitor Hewlett-Packard: "Yet another series of disappointing announcements.")

...

Even blogging boosters Microsoft and Sun have hit bumps. Microsoft fired a temp who posted photos of Apple computers sitting on a company loading dock. Sun CEO Scott McNealy was urged not to blog after he showed trial posts to company lawyers and colleagues. "I've got too many constituents that I have to pretend to be nice to," he says.

I still want to see Scott blog, don't you? :) My goodness ... can you imagine it? I asked him about it once when I saw him walking around MPK (Menlo Park campus). He just laughed. Loudly. :) Oh, well. So much for my influence, eh?

Blogs are bumping into all forms of communication:

Blogs are challenging the media and changing how people in advertising, marketing, and public relations do their jobs.

...

Blogs are just the latest tool that makes it harder for corporations and other institutions to control and dictate their message. An amateur media is springing up, and the smart are adapting. Says Richard Edelman, CEO of Edelman Public Relations: "Now you've got to pitch the bloggers too. You can't just pitch to conventional media."

I can understand this position. I spent nine painful years pitching messages in PR. But I'm out now, and I have a different perspective. Why must everything be a pitch to deliver a message no one believes? And why pitch bloggers? Why perpetuate the bad PR that the PR industry so richly deserves? Why not simply read blogs to understand the issues and the communities trying to interact with a company. And why not simply blog right along with those communities and join the conversation? In other words, skip the pitch. Your message is now delivered through the medium of the conversation -- which tends to only support credible content. This article is just filled with stories of companies who joined the conversation and benefited and companies who didn't and got burned. There are some good stories about Kryptonite, Dan Rather, Mazda, and Six Apart. All worth reading. These stories, though, have to be especially terrifying for companies that are still missing this little phenomenon. Oh, well.
Comments:

Question and suggestions:
How do I filter blogs.sun.com so only technical stuff appears. Perhaps Sun would consider adding a simple portal, where readers can login and personalise. I'd like to see only Solaris and Linux. Right now, BSC is one size fits all, and it's getting too big.
I'm also using Thunderbird to RSS the blog. But I have to do it one by one for each blogger.
thank you.

Posted by iwan ang on December 28, 2004 at 10:10 AM JST #

As far as I know there isn't a way of just viewing posts in a specific category yet, although it has been discussed internally. Instead of the individual feeds you might be better looking at http://planetsun.org/ which aggregates all the BSC the posts onto a single web page. If you prefer to use RSS, planetsun also offers an aggregated RSS feed as well - and if you are using Firefox as your browser I can recommend the excellent Sage RSS pluginhttp://sage.mozdev.org/.

Posted by Alan Burlison on December 28, 2004 at 12:38 PM JST #

maybe Scott can blog about photoshop: http://news.com.com/Internet+hoax+hoodwinks+McNealy/2100-1012_3-5484053.html?tag=nefd.ac

Posted by guest on December 29, 2004 at 04:24 PM JST #

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