Dell Starts a Blog: The Horse is Out of the Barn...or Was That an Elephant?
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launch a blog, called "one2one," although judging from the reaction of several longtime bloggers, it's sudden appearance may fall under the blogosphere category of "too little, too late."
In particular, Jeff Jarvis, longtime TV critic and journalist and author of the "Buzz Machine" blog -- has penned an ongoing one-way conversation about his challenges with the Dell support. His conclusion: Dell has started talking, but still isn't listening.
As Jarvis wrote yesterday in Buzz Machine, "the conversation is already happening out there without you. Join in that conversation. [But] Dell continues to believe that it can control the conversation. That horse is out of the barn, over the horizon, dead, and buried."
In fact, I could swear I saw that horse galloping through Zilker Park down the street from my residence here in Austin the other day. It had a wild look on its face, and seemed awfully thirsty. I tried to coax it in for a drink of water, but that horse was having none of it.
I say good luck to that horse on finally finding a watering hole where it can settle down and rethink its contrariness. Being an Austinite, I'm all about supporting the local economy (where Dell is headquartered), even when it may seem contrary to my own economic interest. Dell has done wonders for Texas and beyond, bringing low-cost PCs to people around the globe.
But being a blogger myself, I think Jarvis is correct when he says that blogging is about both talking and listening...heck, I'd even take it even a step further: Listening to -- rather than just talking to -- customers is just plain good bidness.
And that is ultimately what Jarvis' conversation has all been about: Business, not blogging. The fact that such criticism may be emanating via the Internets...well, hey, welcome to the 21st century. Were it the year 1855 here in the Texas Hill Country, the message just as easily could have been transmitted via smoke signals. It's the message that really matters here, not the medium.
For "one2one" not to even mention or incorporate a head nod to Jarvis after all his Dell trials and tribulations suggests that the horse has evolved into a great big blogosphere elephant: one which hasn't been acknowledged, much less given anything to drink.
Dell blogger Manish Mehta writes in his first post about the rebuilding of the Dell Web site: "The unfortunate truth is that we ended up concreting the cow path."
Among other things.