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July 14, 2005

Blog Storms

Front cover of the Cluetrain Manifesto
[14 July 2005] I've been following a few storms in the blogging world. The latest, around Dell, is not surprisingly pointed to by Doc Searls. Doc has been talking for years about changes in the way companies need to view their customers. Read his book, "The Cluetrain Manifesto" and you'll find a lot of provoking material on client communications.

Dell appears to have thought that, by shutting down their customer forums, they could stop people from voicing their corncerns about Dell's service, doh... The other example in the past week was around Apple's poor job of defining an extension of the RSS format without consulting an important section of their customers, their developer/creative partners.

The Internet has changed customer communications. My 82 year old Dad sends emails, even though it is still mainly early adopters who use weblogs, RSS and tagging. But the blogging juggernaut has been moving for long enough to convince not just the early adopters that customer communications has changed forever. Customers have found and are taking advantage of the ability to communicate without the traditional gatekeepers. Online publishing is free (as in money as well as freedom) and everyone knows!

CEO's and Marketing Managers need to breath-in deeply, it isn't hard. Listen to your customers, make sure they feel heard, be reasonable. Do it out in the open where others can see the way you handle tricky situations (whichever side screwed up).

Someone should tell Michael Dell and Steve Jobs.

Posted by Marius at July 14, 2005 09:55 AM

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