EMC has had a presence in the blogosphere for well over a year now. We'd originally started out with a small handful of key voices, and the experience to date has been quite positive.
This week, we've extended our presence considerably by adding several new employee blogs. In the interest of full disclosure, most of these folks aren't new to blogging. Like myself, the majority have been doing it for some time. For others, our internal Social Media platform was a great way to test drive blogging and hone their voice before going public.
Highlighting these blogs on EMC.com is exciting in a number of ways. Most importantly, blogging is a great way to expose the thought leadership that your employees brings to the table. Suffice to say there's no shortage of innovation within EMC. While a companies products are at the core of their offering, the employees who build, support and advance the products are equally as important. Personally, when I consider doing business with a vendor, I want to know what's behind the curtain as much I want to know what comes in the box.
It also helps extend our voice and engage in new conversations. I've been giving a lot of pitches around Social Media of late. I have two lead in slides that set the basic stage. The first, a character shouting into a microphone (Web 1.0). The second slide, a group of people having conversations (Web 2.0). Success in the future will require intimate conversations between external and internal voices. Healthy representation in blog-land will be critical.
So - a couple of key questions that I've been asked at least a hundred times by industry peers in the past couple of weeks.
Why no common look & feel? We spent a few minutes discussing. While brand affinity is important... The real value is in what's being said - not the aesthetics. We'll likely offer up templates in the future should anyone want to more closely align with a corporate feel. But - these are individual blogs. The colors they choose - the positioning of widgets - etc; - It's part of their individual voice. A cookie cutter approach would belittle the individuality.
So, you must be editorializing these now, right? Wrong. Most already had it - but for those that didn't, we asked that they put a typical disclaimer somewhere on their blog. Beyond that, we told them to keep doing what they were doing. Controlling the message is not a blog - it's corporate content. The point here is to highlight the individual thinking - not leverage their blogs as a vehicle for messaging. My policy about public blogging when asked - '"Be careful".
Sometimes these feel like small advancements in the grand scheme of things. When you step back though, they're often more significant from a distance. There's already a buzz inside our walls around the representation of our employee bloggers. More employees want to be a part of it. Blogging on our internal space, EMC ONE, is at an all time high. I have little doubt you'll see explosive growth in this space in the weeks and months to come.