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May 30, 2005


Brad Feld

I'd like to think we get it. Tell me what I'm missing.

In the case of NewsGator, comments are enabled and we'd love to see what people think. There are plenty of other NewsGator blogs (including the CEO (JB Holston), CTO (Greg Reinacker), SVP Sales (Sandy Hamilton), VP Prof Services (Charlie Wood) and the founder of FeedDemon (now Chief Architect - Client Products - Nick Bradbury). All are great feedback loops. Plus, we get tons of user feedback from our Discussion Forums.

In the case of Feedburner, Publisher Buzz is one big feedback loop. We're simply republishing what our users are saying about us for other users to hear!

Clue me in on why you think I / we don't get it?

Usher Lieberman

Brad - It probably wasn't entirely clear with the way I posted the link to your blog. You've got several portfolio companies that obviously do get it, Newsgator and Feedburner being among that crowd. But despite your evangelism, and the success of companies that blog well (including those in your portfolio), many more companies don't get it. My belief is that they are stuck in seeing corporate marketing communications as primarily a one way medium. I linked to your blog as a reference to a small cross section of companies where some get it and some don't and the ones that do get it are blogging to good effect.

Mark Brandon

We get it, and we are huge fans of the medium. Our only question from a corporate blog standpoint is, if we build it will they blog?

The typical visitor to our corporate site is a "car guy". Car guys, for the most part, are just entering the PC era and most have arrived kicking and screaming.

The big question is can you get a bunch hard drinkin/smokin car guys to start participating in something that isn't going to put a buck in their pocket? The odds are against it but it may be worth exploring.

Usher Lieberman

It is a great question Mark and really puts you at the cutting edge in many ways. I think the key is to find and engage the early adopters with content that is compelling to them. The medium is also a great way for you to expand your audience beyond the realm of just car guys. I know they're your first market but your software and selling method is well suited to other industries where the medium is not nearly so foreign. I'm looking forward to seeing how the medium works for non-tech audience because I think this is where some interesting things will happen over the next 12-18 mos.

Mark Brandon

Ok now that we are going down the path of the corporate blog, is the blog simply one part of the corporate idenitity and marketing plan, or does it stand on it's own as a more independent medium. For example, is it appropriate for blogging to be part of the overall marketing strategy of our branding effort for DealerLOGIX or does it become it's own identity under the banner of something like carguyblog.com?

My gut tells me that blogging should be seen as part of the overall market strategy, however it should be at arms lenght and maintain some level of independence and objectivity.

Usher Lieberman

Mark - I think every situation is unique. In the case of a company like feedburner the blog really is the corporate identity. In a case like Oxlo which is a little closer to your own situation, the CEO's blog is at arm's length.

I think it depends on who is writing it and what the content is. If the content is all about your product and best practices, etc. it is central to corporate identity. If it is more of an industry forum, it should maintain branding aspects of DealerLOGIX but it is a little more at arms length in order to keep its objectivity as a focal point.

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