Media Influencer

helping people break out of pigeonholes since 2003

Quote to remember

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Repeat after me: "the message" is dead, gone and not coming back. Blogs
are conversations, conversations are social interaction and social
interaction is about your relationship to a person, not a statement.
- Cornelius Puschmann, in a comment on Suw Charman’s post Edelman: Must try harder.

The ball o’angst

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Head Lemur writes about Microsoft’s and Edelman’s latest blogosphere’s storm in a teacup (yes, yes, of course, these squirmishes matter but after a few years of this I can’t keep up the frothing at mouth anymore):

In yet another bizzare ‘BMS’ blogger marketing scheme, Edelman PR,(the gang that can’t shoot straight) Microsoft, the OS company that has reached the tipping point and is falling over, came together and bought a bunch of Acer Ferrari laptop computers, loaded VISTA, (the straightjacket of personal computing) and sent them out to a group of bloggers.

This has been extensively covered already in the blogosphere but I loved the comment left on the post.

"Well, you could have written an e-mail to me and asked me about that."

The following is a general statement, but feel free to take it personally (that is, whoever wants to pick up the ball o’ angst and run with it):

I’m amused that in one breath, [bloggers] tout the wondrous workings of the blogosphere, which means no more calls to Tech Support, just write a disparaging blog post and wait for the cavalry to arrive.

In the next breath, [bloggers] decry the foul machinations of the blogosphere, a place where people don’t actually talk to each other privately to get the facts before writing said disparaging posts.

Just sayin’.

Excellent point, well presented. Nice to see someone having a healthy perspective on this. There are quite a few journos who are happy to accuse bloggers of being unprofessional because they would publish something without contacting whoever is causing the outrage of the day. But as a blogger, why should I contact anybody? This was necessary when only outlet for individuals and organisations was the media and the journo’s duty as the gatekeeper of the sacred cow – forgive my mixing of metaphors – was to offer opportunity to (ideally) present both sides of the story. Not that it made much difference to whatever story the reporter already had in mind, but I digress. Now anybody can put their side of the story out there. So when I blog about someone, they can leave a comment or email me or respond on their own blog. The result is a cacophony of voices competing for attention and importance. Which is what communication between humans has always been about. :)

We the consumers

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Nightline reports on the AOL and Comcast situations. Or as Nalts puts it We Are Consumers, Hear Us Roar.

via Will Video for Food

Dell Hell

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I have been away last week and this week was spent gradually working my way through the inbox and feeds and trying to catch up with what’s happened in the online and offline world.

Yesterday, I waded through Jeff Jarvis’s record of his experiences with a new Dell laptop that is on the way of becoming another case study in ‘customers-bite-back-online’ trend. The last post is:

One of the great lessons of the cluetrain era is that your customers
are your best customer support agents and marketers if only you allow
them … and respect them enough to listen to them. Dell does’t. As we
reported the other day, Dell shut its general customer forums… which should be the place for customers to help each other.

Today CNETnews.com writes about the the closure of the forums as Dell falls off the Cluetrain.


Considering its customer-friendly track record, Dell’s recent decision to shut down its Customer Care message boards is getting pilloried as an act of monumental stupidity, if not monumental arrogance…. Dell chose to shut down the forum rather than engage with its customers.

It refers to Jeff’s saga making a more general point that sums up my position on two-way communication for companies and blogs:

We’re still quite early into this Internet/blog revolution, and it’s
not yet clear how it will all end up. Still, it’s safe to predict that
any institution (including a news organization) that ignores the
conversation does so at its own peril.

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