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."
His famous boss agrees. "It's all about openness," says chairman Bill Gates of Microsoft's public blogs like Scobleizer. "People see them as a reflection of an open, communicative culture that isn't afraid to be self-critical."
I've been yappin' about this kind of stuff for a while now. In an earlier post I said:
Ask me to name what I think is the most brilliant piece of new advertising I've come across in the last 5 years.Still, that doesn't mean a cash-strapped brand manager can say "Oh good! No I can replace my $5 million advertising budget with a $100 piece of blogging software!!!"
My answer would not be some big, funky-dunky campaign from a company like Apple or Volkswagon.
My answer would not be something from some edgy, hipster, in-your-face creative hot-shop in downtown Manhattan or London.
My answer would be Robert Scoble, a regular guy with a regular job who blogs regularly about the company he works for. That company happens to be Microsoft.
The main benefit of a public blog at the corporate level is INDIRECT. With blogs, when you're open, honest and smart, people pay attention. When you're closed, dishonest and dumb, people ignore you.
Keeping a blog helps train you to be more like the former (smart), less like the latter (dumb). This training starts paying serious dividends, once it starts bleeding into the other aspects of your business including, for example, TV advertising and other forms of mass media.
The "voice" of your blog will affect the voice of the entire brand. The smarter your blog voice, the smarter the entire brand will become.
The smarter your brand, the less likely you'll be fired any time soon.Posted by hugh macleod at December 28, 2004 11:02 AM | TrackBack