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Okay…okay…I’m blogging!

Okay, so a couple of weeks ago, my boss’s boss catches me in the hallway and say’s, “Hey, we’re thinking of creating a corporate blog for FreeColorPrinters. Since you’re a writer, and you read blogs (I think they’ve been watching me) why don’t you come to a meeting next week and share your thoughts?”

Cool. So I do some research, print up some good corp blogging info and show up for the meeting, ready to be the low man on the totem pole. Turns out there are only two other people in this meeting, my boss, and the head of marketing.

Well, I’d like to think I’m not slow, but it took several minutes to realize that I wasn’t there to share my unbiased opinions or the wealth of my literary knowledge (THAT would have made for a short meeting!) No, it finally dawns on me that “I the man!” on this new venture.

Long story short – I got three weeks to make this happen. Then I thought, “What the heck, I’ll start my own blog as well (this one) to share my thoughts on life, love and Xerox. No worries. Given my OCD nature, I was fine with putting everything else on hold, buying some books, and working some overtime (18 hours in four days, so far…woo-hoo!)

So I picked up “The Corporate Bloggging Book” and “Naked Conversations” That one was fun to ask for over the phone! Okay, so I bought “Blogging For Dummies” too, but I keep it hidden in my bag.  Annnnd… started surfing again.

Holy Crap! (Strongbad Rulz!) There’s a lot of info floating around out there about blogs! I also got a strong sense that, while not a direct selling of one’s soul to Lucifer, being a corporate blogger is at least frowned upon by a lot of folks out there. So, before I take a break to find out what kind of M&M I am…lemme ask your opinion…

How does one keep a corporate blog from being just another quacking mouthpiece for hard-sell marketing?

What kind of things do normal (I’ll give you a pass on this one) people want to see, if anything, on a corporate blog?

How do I keep from making a fool out of myself? (Professionally only, please)

I appreciate your thoughts. I’ll let you know when the new corporate blog launches, and I’ll upload my M&M pic soon.

Later,

-Perk

PS – If you want to read about corporate marketing, “Naked Conversations” is a great book. Scoble is freakin’ hilarious!

Naked Conversations: How Blogs are Changing the Way Businesses Talk with Customers

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5 thoughts on “Okay…okay…I’m blogging!

  1. Well first of all, I’m definitely a blue M&M.

    Now that the important stuff is out of the way, blogs should be a vehicle for the free expression of opinion & commentary. To have a successful corporate blog, you’ll need a commitment from your Marketing management not to kill blogs or step on toes if things turn in a direction THEY don’t like. The loss of control is tough for those corporate types to take, but life is risk.

    If Xerox wants to know what we think, give us your opinion on something (like features/benefits) of an upcoming or newly released product. Then ask for a response, but be ready for anything. My company hosts a fairly successful web forum, but many times I’ve heard the Marketing muckity-mucks debating whether or not to kill a thread THEY don’t like. CAN’T DO IT. Free expression provides great feedback, some positive & some negative. I hope it all works.

  2. I would say, to have your cohorts in crime, assist you with any humorous stories that they have encountered.

    The best one I have heard so far is someone melting crayons and pouring it into the printer, because they were out of solid ink.

    I didn’t know if this was going to be a public blog or not but #2 would be during the verification process, calling the the business phone number only to find out that it was a phone sex line. (They did get approved.)

    Anyway, humor is good, maybe the tech guys can provide you with some stories aswell.

    Have fun.
    JD

  3. Two questions (or maybe observations), one concerning the corporate blog and one concerning the personal blog.

    First of all, no matter what the blogging purists say, there is absolutely nothing wrong with a corporate blog provided there is no attempt to hide what it is. I would take great pride in the fact that you were asked to take on the project. I think that the best corporate blogs tend to be group based and somewhat “free form” or open topic (within the reasonable limits set out by the company).

    Is this blog going to be for Xerox personnel only, or for public consumption? If it is only for Xerox personnel, then it seems that it would be a wonderful way for management to get a sense for how the ranks feel about the company’s direction, products etc.

    If it is for public consumption, then it needs to be more than just another version of the corporate website. It should be a place were all levels of employees from every department could (at management’s descresion of course) post informative articles that could benefit customers and end users. It could also be useful for press members and bloggers in the more tech oriented fields to go to and get a feel for the background on some latest news story that involves Xerox in some way. I often see bloggers refer to Google’s blog or Microsoft’s blog when discussing a topic having to do with one of these companies.

    About iwork4xerox. Do you think it is wise to associate a personal blog directly with your place of employment? It would seem like that might be leading to the grey areas that Dane was referring to. I personally would not want to always
    be wondering if I am going to offend the “corporate powers that be” (that also pay me to blog on their behalf) by something I post on my personal blog. Normally this shouldn’t be a concern, but when you name your blogiwork4xerox, they might have a legitimate beef. I know you and your politics, and your tendency to talk about the things you love, or rant about the things you don’t (I’m the same way) and I would think that it might not be wise to associate a place for you to engage in personal free expression so overtly with your place of employment.

    Just a thought.

    Will read with interest,

    Gary

    P.S.

    I blog on politics (somewhat infrequently) but I am working on a personal blog about other things in my life so that friends and family members that
    won’t read a blog with my politics expressed on it will read things I write about painting, drumming, church, backpacking etc. The two can and will reference each other, but this is the liberal mecca known as Oregon, and the majority of people I do
    business with would never even go to a blog written by a Right Wing Gun Totin’ Republican Christian. Heck, I’ve actually lost paint jobs for that reason.

    The
    personal
    blog
    isn’t technically public yet, but I have given out the link to enough people that it might as well be.

  4. Pingback: Bubba-M « iwork4xerox

  5. iwork4xerox on said:

    First of all, a big THANKS to everyone who’s posted so far, great feedback!

    One note: I didn’t make it very clear before, but THIS blog (iwork4xerox) is NOT the corporate blog for FreeColorPrinters. This is my personal page for downloading my own thoughts about the project, my work at Xerox, and life in general. Hopefully getting some valuable feed back (as I have already) in return.

    Now to answer some questions:

    Dane said: To have a successful corporate blog, you’ll need a commitment from your Marketing management not to kill blogs or step on toes if things turn in a direction THEY don’t like.

    Reply: I totally agree, and not to sound like TOO much of a kiss-up here, I wouldn’t have agreed to do this project if I wasn’t confident that I had the support of my managers and marketing. We have a pretty great team here.

    Jon said: I would say, to have your cohorts in crime, assist you with any humorous stories that they have encountered.

    Reply: I might pursue that, but I’m afraid that most of their best “embarrassing” stories would include me, lol. I want to be transparent, but not quite THAT transparent!

    Gary asked: Is this blog going to be for Xerox personnel only, or for public consumption?

    Reply: The FreeColorPrinters blog will be an open format. Most interested will probably be the members of the program (current & upcoming customers) but hopefully we’ll have enough good info and helpful tips on the latest in color printing, and life as a corporate cube-dweller, that folks outside the program will wander in and hang around as well.

    As far as your cautions, I totally agree. I know I can get a “bit” outspoken when passions arise, but I’m committed to “Not Blog Angry.”

    I think the general caution that many corporate blogs, like Yahoo and Microsoft gives their employees is best: “Blog Smart.”

    Thanks all,

    -Perk

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