Fuzzy - not just a name, a way of life

Monday, May 02, 2005

Marketing - just like the undead, only with better teeth

Marketing - just like the undead, only with better teeth

I've spent two days thinking about how people find other people's blogs, blogging about blogging etc. I wrote about a cranky customer, with several motivating factors. I knew that I'd exhausted any real avenue of redress for the issue at hand. I knew that it was symptomatic of the perennial effort/reward conundrum that software development typifies. But the message became a victim of a greater problem - trying to "market" the idea of blogs to people who don't care, or worse, fear such disruptive technology.

I was away from the office the day several of our "best and brightest" attempted to convince several of our "other best and brightest" of the merits of blogs, and that opportunities would benifit those who moved fastest. (you'll note everyone around here is "brightest" ... some are just "first among brightest" . .. George Orwell, eat your heart out). The fact that private blogs were happening was used as verbal ammunition in the argument, for reasons most of you can guess.

So that's how the head of the area came to read my blog. And he had kittens. How could I allude to a minor product failure in public? Why didn't I raise the issue with him? What if competitors read what I write? It's sad to see others only slowly realise that you'd asked yourself these questions prior to blogging. We agreed to disagree after I pointed out that I hadn't mentioned names of people, products, etc., that I had made (fruitless) efforts to get the problem fixed which he couldn't remember (trusty audit trail was quite handy here), and that if our competition is reading my blog, they must be in far worse shape than we thought.

So not the best way to market blogging to this person. The self-censorship comes in to play now as this happens more and more - shoot the messenger, don't fix the underlying problems. Arguments were made about blogs not being the place to report bugs ... funny that, it wasn't my intention then, nor will it be in the future. The idea of communicating with other people for purposes greater than simple work seemed to be lost. Oh well, time to get a bullet-proof vest (or a Pope mobile!), because there are sure to be more shots taken at this particular messenger.


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