Didn’t We Mean to Say, “Welcome?”

by Marianne Richmond on July 10, 2006

The usually gracious Steve Rubel wrote that Dell had started a corporate blog but had failed to get the blog going the way that they could have." BL Ochman is in pain over the new Coke site and drags Ford’s Bold Moves under the bus twice; once for each of their two videos. I have said it before, if we believe corporations should blog, we should give them some time to learn. Go back through your archives to your first wobbly posts and see if perhaps you have improved with experience.

 Andy Lark says about the Dell blog, "The bloggerati just need to get over every blog coming out the gate reading like a conversation at the local pub and not rehashing the past trials and tribulations of bloggers. It takes time for a corporate blog to find its collective voice….Perhaps the best thing we could do to welcome a new corporate blog isn’t to critique it (just yet) but rather to participate. Engage them if you are interested. Give it time to settle and grow and nurture it with comments."

Toby Bloomberg at Diva Marketing congratulates Ford on getting it right and delivering on bold. I completely agree. More  encouragement came from the Fallon Planning Blog and Experience Curve

Adrants concurs although says that the bold moves might be a little "forced;" but then Adrants delivered the perfect parent move: They shouldn’t have let themselves get into this mess to begin; if the had remained competitive they wouldn’t be having to be bold now…or blog!

 The Viral Garden bashes Coke as clueless, with control issues; Logic+Emotion is constructively critical and gives Cokes points for learning from experience, but wonders about control issues. AdJab thinks that Coke has control issues.Okay, so the consumer is in control, but is it possible that Coke is just being cautious in new territory?? To quote Falstaff, "the better part of valor is discretion"..

 Interacting with consumers as well as the critical blogosphere? Yes, we can only imagine the dilemma…..

I can put the control vs caution dynamic in a very personal place…. I am just beginning to watch my fifteen year old son get into the car of his sixteen year old friends and drive off for the evening. I trust him…and yet it is very different than when I drove him to someone’s house knew who would be there and knew that they were going to be there all night. No of course I don’t miss the driving part, just the control.

Now, after my inquisition elicits not only grudging intentions of his destination and the names of companions, I also hear, "Mom, stop being so controlling."

"Cautious, I am being cautious."

And later, when I call his mobile and say, "Are Jeremy’s parents home?’ He says, "Mom, we are at Drew’s." No control. So, I cautiously inquire, "Ok, are Drew’s parent’s at home? And who else is there……"

OK, so we are all learning here. I can’t see a single benefit to anyone of an instant public critique to those we keep on inviting to be part of the conversation.

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