Scoble slams UPS in response to this article by Robert Manning of UPS. However, Manning does have a few good points. Rather than rush out and start blogging, you should have some idea what your plan is if you go at it from the "corporate blog" side. On the other hand, if you approach it as Sun and MS have - just let the employees go out there and provide a human voice rather than a corporate drone - then you can be more laissez-faire about it.
However, that doesn't mean that corporate marketers get to ignore the blogosphere; far from it. Witness the Kryptonite and Kensington issues, for instance - would you rather let those things sit and fester, or be able to respond immediately? That Kryptonite response was from weeks after the incident, when the damage was already done. As best as I can tell, Kensington has yet to respond.
What you product marketers and product managers need to be doing is paying attention to product mentions. How? Via search feeds. Using BottomFeeder as an example, I can set up search feeds using Feedster, Google, Yahoo, MSN, BlogPulse, BlogDigger, A9, and Three headline news services. I can also add searches that need to be manually set, like those from PubSub. Here's what it looks like:
You can click that for a bigger image. The point is that by subscribing to a search for "kensington lock" I can find all the references - positive and negative - that flow through the sphere. For my product - Cincom Smalltalk - I search on
- Cincom Smalltalk
Across a number of the search engines. When I find positive references, I can publicize them - maybe even approach the person or company in question for a success story. When I find a negative response, I can follow up and get more details. That latter part is where a corporate blog may come in.
If you find yourself responding to commentary that comes in this way in a repetitive fashion, it may well be worth your while to get an FAQ posted. From there, you may decide that you need a more open, interactive forum - like a blog. Either way, you need to be tracking the commentary - because the positive and negative points are being made whether you engage them or not.