I presented at Melcrum's Social Media Forum last week and it's since been getting some good coverage in the blogosphere. Seems like they liked my business card (above)
I was just about to post this entry with a different title and then noticed the meme making it's way up Techmeme today about Microsoft's blogging case study in this months Wired set alongside the smoking gun briefing email that Chris Anderson talks about. Frank Shaw comments on this way more articulately (and with authority) than I could. It shouldn't diminish the grassroots blogging work that is going on here at Microsoft and I'd like to point out that it's worldwide - this isn't like many things a Redmond only phenomenon. Our own Partner-TV is shamelessly modeled on Channel 9 and delivered by a team outside of their day job. Why? Because we believe in transparency and the human touch. The borg image must end.
At the last minute form my presentation at the Social Media Forum, I decided to put this comment in that I had on my blog a little while back
Steve, I am now beginning to enjoy Microsoft. Previously I , and I suspect millions of others, perceived MS as a leviathan without a heart. No pulse or warmth. Not a human in sight except Bill in front of a cold global software assembly plant staffed by humanoids. By blogging, you and your colleagues have opened up MS to reveal that the innards are indeed made up of warm, people with hearts, with families, have smiles and wow, you do have senses of humour! This is incredible. Who'd have thought that a corporation like MS was human after all!? We do now. All because you are engaging with us at our level and this is a conversation I relate to and like very much. I hope many more do too.
I honestly had a lump in my throat when I first read this. I've only really been blogging for about 10 months and I didn't expect this kind of reaction. It blew me away so I used it as my last slide to follow the Blue Monster image. From the reaction of the audience I think it blew them away too - and strangely may have helped shift a few opinions of Microsoft in that room. I helped people understand the impact you can have through blogging and the value of a personal connection. The 13 members of my own team are now all blogging and our executive team are really starting to take note. I'm trying to get our executives to blog too (not internally as some are thinking). As Fred's case study concludes,
"One thing about transparency is clear: It's harder than it looks."
He's right. But the hard things come with greater rewards than the easy things. That comment back on my blog makes late nights of blogging and justifying it more than worth the effort.
[update] good commentary from Mary Jo Foley