Those vendor blog sods fog the cogs. Wish they'd slog for user bods
Customers are people too
Storagebod Today is the fifth anniversary of the Storagebod blog. I had blogged a bit before and had commented on various posts about storage, but nearly all of them – and indeed, enterprise technology blogs in general – were aimed at vendors and resellers. The voice of the “user” was mostly missing… and so Storagebod was born.
At the time that I started this blog, the vendors were very much in the mode of tearing lumps out of each other on their blogs. They spent more time shouting at each other than actually listening to their customers and focusing on that. Now the blogs have mellowed – in fact, many of them have fossilised – while others, unfortunately, are just pure marketing.
And still they seem spend more time talking to themselves and telling themselves how great they are, even if mostly they try not to tell us how poor their competitors are… so that’s progress, perhaps.
There are still some good blogs out there, generally written by people who don’t have “marketing” or “social” in their job titles but the golden age of vendor blogging, if there was one, seems to have gone. If your company has a policy around social marketing; it’ll probably kill off the voices that should be heard.
Of course, there’s me and Chris Evans plugging away independently; there are a few others as well but we could really do with more. I know plenty of you reading this disagree with much of what I write – I only have to read the comments below! While I thank all of my commenters, perhaps some of you might want to give this blogging lark a go yourself. Hey, if you want to put your toe in the water, drop me an email or leave me a comment and I’ll put up a guest entry.
But I’d also like to see a reboot of the vendor blogs. I’d like to see people write about things they feel passionately about, not just regurgitate the message that marketing have given them. If you work in marketing or social and you see something written that you don’t like, the first reaction should not be to try and get that person "on-message"; rather try to work out why that person is "off-message" and then whether their message is legitimate.
If it is full of inaccuracies, if it is leaking the company's secrets and if it is going to do the company serious harm, then have a discussion... but you need to be aware that many of us really respect the naysayers and the outliers in your companies. At times we will be doing business with you because of that respect and it says a lot about a company’s culture if it embraces that openness.
Me, I’ll carry on what I’m doing. I’ll keep throwing bricks – and sometimes bouquets. If I think the Emperor’s got no clothes, I’ll be the little boy who points at him and laughs.
But mostly, I’ll keep on doing this because it’s a lot of fun. ®