Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Blog on blogs

This month's Wired magazine has several neat articles on the "transparency effect" of corporate blogs.

This one is a great article on Channel 9, an upstart blog that bubbled up from within Microsoft and is gaining serious "street cred" with developers and techies.

The Factoid:

Channel 9 was used by United Airlines for anxious passengers to listen to the pilot and air traffic control. The idea is that anxiety can be mitigated by knowledge and transparency. The name, "Channel 9", for Microsoft's blog reflects the original intent to show developers what is happening inside The Death Star in Redmond.

The Quote:

"Who told you you could do this? I want a meeting with your VP," read an email from a marketing executive in the Windows division. "Some of the information in the last video was false. Do you realize shareholders could sue us over this?" an attorney pinged. And then there were the dozens of awkward hallway run-ins: Someone in public relations or marketing would stop Pryor and ask, in effect, "Who do you think you are?"

By then, Pryor had been at Microsoft seven years. He spent the last two as director of platform evangelism - building good relations with outside code writers. For Channel 9, he had a powerful line of executive support running all the way up to Jim Allchin, then head of the company's giant Windows division. But in the face of some of the "nastygrams," as he calls them, Pryor wondered how long that support would last. "That first month I probably had 10 to 15 near-death experiences where I thought I was going to be fired," he says.

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