Dell’s blog is a year old. Man, time flies when they’re having fun. I’ve written before about how Dell is changing (and I hope I’ll be writing about it again soon when I get to do a magazine piece). So now I’ll just congratulate Dell blogger Lionel Menchaca et al for an impressive job of diving into the fire and coming out cool. True to form, Lionel openly shares some self-critical lessons other companies would be wise to heed:
* Customers really are in control–and it’s okay. I think more companies are starting to acknowledge this, but it’s a concept that scares the heck out of them. I’m willing to bet that this is still a key reason less than 10% of Fortune 500 companies maintain a blog.
* Ignoring negative issues is not a viable strategy in the blogosphere. If you aren’t prepared to discuss negative issues head on and actually fix what’s causing the negative conversations, be ready to fail publicly. . . .
* Probably the best time to launch a blog is when things aren’t going so well. We started monitoring the blogosphere last year. At our worst point, almost 50% of the commentary was negative. That made it easy for us to decide to jump in. These negative conversations were happening with or without us, and it was pretty clear we had a better chance if we entered those negative discussions. Today, we’re seeing about 23% negative. While that’s moving in the right direction, there’s plenty of progress to be made.
* Sincere apologies are welcome if you learn from (and correct) your mistakes. Without both, you lose credibility fast. . . .