March 31, 2006

You Don't Get a Free Pass

I wish that my blog had been acting right when this latest exchange between the Naked Guys and Werner Vogels at Amazon took place. (Doc has the best roundup of links on this that I've seen.)

I have only a couple of observations, since the story has been played out.

  • Werner Vogels wanted Shel and Robert to tell the group something they didn't already know about blogging and business.
  • He thought they didn't. Does that mean he should have acted like an asshole? No. But it might have inspired him him to.
  • We've got to start telling a compelling business story if we're walking into their houses, gang--to start telling them what they don't already know. We've overplayed 1999. Cluetrain is now the default, Thank God. So let's wind up the happy dance and find even better ways to weave conversation into the corporate fabric besides: "I blog, you blog, we all blog together!" That's simplifying it, yes. But maybe it really IS that simple.

  • Amazon's customer reviews (like ebay's "in your own words" feedback loop) WERE pioneering platforms for the voice of the customer. If Shel and Robert didn't start the meeting off saying that, then that was a missed opportunity.

So what? Werner is right to ask. We ought to have answers.

Blogging doesn't have to LOOK LIKE it always has. We don't even have to keep CALLING it that. The tools and approaches inspired by blogging over the last few years are something else altogether, and the opportunity for enterprises to use these tools to tighten the connections between themselves and their customers -- and to do that Faster, Better, Funner -- are exploding. And so what next? And after that?

Werner is right to ask. Demand, even.

Time to get the suit on and write a new white paper. ;-)

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