I think this is an interesting question. OK so I’m rather biased seeing as though I asked it!
Some companies encourage their employees to talk openly about the products and services they work with – other companies try to control all outbound messages with the aim of “letting the public relations experts manage the brand”. I think those that enable their people to talk openly and frankly via blogs are likely to be more transparent and therefore more interesting to their potential customers.
Microsoft’s blogging policy is really simple – blog smart- allow all full time employees to post whatever they like to the corporate blog sites (MSDN and TechNet) on the proviso that they consider in advance whether they’d be comfortable discussing posts with Steve or Bill should they deem them inappropriate.
Clearly there is another way of blogging – posting to non-corporate resources – in theory at least this gives total freedom to the employee though in practice there have been numerous cases of people being fired as a consequence of posts that have not been appreciated by their employer.
I think companies loose out if they don’t give their employees the opportunity to post in an easily discoverable way about work related topics.
What do you think? Which companies are good examples of each extreme?
I’d love to hear your views via comments to this post.
That was one of my mother's regular sayings when I was young. OK Not the bit about VMware. So I didn't
On the whole, I think the Microsoft policy toward blogging is a step in the right direction but I do still think they should either educate or exercise a little more editorial control over their bloggers. Under the 'blog smart' concept there seems to be little accountability and I've read posts that can give Microsoft's credibility a real knock (from simple untruths to slander and plain old FUD).
As a reader, I'm picking up a trend at the moment on the Microsoft blogs for a subtle but extremely negative anti-VMware marketing campaign (example commented above) just because Microsoft now have a competing product in the market. It seems to me as an outsider that right now Microsoft don't seem to have enough positive things to say about their own products so just resort to sniping at the competition.
Clearly, Palm Inc. saved its strategy with the help of its blog. In august 2008, they definitely revoked the Foleo team, after tons of negative comments on this product no Treo user would ever buy...
Tin> thanks for your feedback. I am not a fan of knocking ones competitors - I advocate "here's what's great about our product" as you suggest.
There are plenty of good aspects of our virtualisation technologies - particularly looking at what features actually have significant value to the majority of customers and looking at the product's price point.
I find that people who spread FUD through their blogs are typically moderated by their readers comments