One Hand Raised in Favor of Openness

Posted by bryanzug - 2005/09/29

Met Scoble in this webinar on tech blogging for business the other day. Big takeaway for me was ‘The Corporate Weblog Manifesto’ he pointed to that he posted back in February 2003.

It really serves as a definitive scope document for the revolution he has helped lead – the one that’s changing the very nature of corporate communication, product evangelism, and software development.

It’s my current blog policy until something better (read — more corporate and sanitized) comes along.

Here’s some highlights (more to follow on more of his 21 points as time allows) —

1) Tell the truth. The whole truth. Nothing but the truth. If your competitor has a product that’s better than yours, link to it. You might as well. We’ll find it anyway.

Wow — tell the truth even if it doesn’t flatter you because people will find out anyway.

2) Post fast on good news or bad. Someone say something bad about your product? Link to it — before the second or third site does — and answer its claims as best you can. Same if something good comes out about you. It’s all about building long-term trust. The trick to building trust is to show up! If people are saying things about your product and you don’t answer them, that distrust builds. Plus, if people are saying good things about your product, why not help Google find those pages as well?

Warts and all honesty actually has a huge, often undocumented ROI, and it’s called customer trust.

Anyone familiar with Microsoft’s corporate history (especially from a technical or business perspective) knows full well the huge level of mistrust they have earned during their recent lifespan.

Whoever hired Scoble to do what he’s doing where he’s doing it should really be considered for a Nobel Peace Prize – from a cultural change perspective, the work is extremely significant, and will ultimately make the world a much better place.



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