Corporate Blogging Survey 2005

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July 9, 2005

Steve Ballmer’s Thoughts on Blogging Transparency

David Burn of AdPulp gave a transcript of the interview between Steve Ballmer and Robert Scoble in a video on Channel9.

Robert Scoble Q: Microsoft has been a leader in transparency, blogging, and Channel 9. Why did you allow blogging to happen?

Steve Ballmer A: In the world of developers I don’t think it would have mattered if I wanted to allow blogging to happen or not. But I think it’s been a great way for us to communicate to our customers and for our customers, more importantly, to communicate with us. We trust our people to represent our company. That’s what they are paid to do. If they don’t want to be here they wouldn’t be here. So in a sense you don’t run any more risk letting someone express themselves on a blog than you do letting them go out and see a customer on their own anyway. It just touches more people. Hey, if people need to be trained or understand better we can do that but I find that it’s just a great way to have customer communications.

I think Steve Ballmer is right about blogging and openness, in daily operations customers talk with employees and there is an open interchange, this translates well into the world of blogging. However I do think there are some differences between blogging and ordinary conversations. When you blog about something, the message is permanent and can be seen by thousands, in the case of Microsoft, probably millions of people. Each employee has to be a whole lot more cautious about their blogging efforts than when they chat with a customer in an ordinary conversation. Dr. Ron Lasky made the same comment recently at the AMA blogging workshop in Boston. Dr. Lasky describes how he has to be much more careful in answering customer’s questions on his blog about his customer’s products then when he chats on the telephone, a permanent post might be misinterpreted in the future.

Posted by johncass at July 9, 2005 11:30 PM

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