Oracle Relates to Bloggers

Here's another nice development on the community front: For the first time, Oracle is issuing blogger credentials for Oracle OpenWorld. A group of "A-listers" (as Scoble calls them) will soon receive (if they haven't already) invitations to accept full conference passes carte blanche, and to enjoy the same type of access that the mainstream press typically does (including a designated blogger area in the press room).

This may seem like a little thing, but for Oracle, it's far from it. It's active acknowledgment that the world has changed (no small feat for a huge corporation), and I applaud everyone involved for making it happen!

Update: At least one invitee (Dennis Howlett) is unimpressed (to say the least) with the fact that T&E will not be covered this year. What do you think about that issue?

Comments:

That's a smart move - blogger buzz is one of the cheapest forms of marketing and gives great online search results. I wonder what the professional press guys think of sharing the press room with the part timers! I am impressed by the online networking Oracle have set up for the conference. I wish other vendors were doing the same (nudge nudge IBM).

Posted by Vincent McBurney on October 12, 2007 at 03:50 AM PDT #

I compliment Oracle for making the move. In the spirit of transparency and honest discussion let me ask 3 questions, though a) When Jeff Nolan at SAP first invited bloggers to an event 2+ years ago. he did not know how we would behave. Indeed he only half jokingly wrote that each blogger could be walking in with a nuclear briefcase. In turn I wrote something to the effect of "we come in transparency" (in place of peace). SAP management did not know what to expect...how much have you prepped your top management about this? b) Many of the bloggers invited to the conference run small businesses. Expecting them to be away from those businesses for 3 days and not even offering to pick up their expenses is treating them like media and industry analysts, who work for much bigger employers and have discretionary travel budgets. That is the smallest difference between the three...bloggers are typically practitioners who happen to write. We are different from media and analysts. Not better, not worse, but different. Does your organization clearly understand the difference between the groups? c) On a blog I wrote yesterday I have had several Oracle employees comment. That's what makes blogging great, the exchange. But everyone of them has commented anonymously - and in many cases suggested they do not work for Oracle. The IP address gives it away, but they posture otherwise. Can we expect the same nervous discussions with Oracle employees at the conference? I raise these questions in a positive spirit - I am sure you don't want to just go through the motions of saying you had bloggers at the conference. Kudos on taking the first steps, though...

Posted by vinnie mirchandani on October 12, 2007 at 09:43 AM PDT #

Justin, Good news. Will this accreditation be open to attendees who are coming anyway (as speakers, for example) - access to interviews could be useful, also to the press tent. regards, Mark

Posted by Mark Rittman on October 14, 2007 at 01:07 AM PDT #

Vinnie, to answer in order: A) Yes, this program was approved at the highest levels. B) This distinction is understood, but at this point the prevailing view is that T&E should not be covered in order to avoid the appearance of quid pro quo. IMPO this is the right way to go, but who knows - perhaps next year the policy will change. C) Among a company of 70K employees, I'm sure you can find plenty who will be comfortable, yes. (As for the comments on your blog - if they are in fact from employees, they made a rather poor personal decision not to identify themselves. It's not a reflection of company policy - the opposite of it, in fact.)

Posted by Justin Kestelyn on October 14, 2007 at 09:01 PM PDT #

Mark, I'll look into that.

Posted by Justin Kestelyn on October 14, 2007 at 09:01 PM PDT #

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