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Dell Opens a “Blog”

Dell opened a blog at that no longer exists. I put blog in quotes because: It has moderated comments, no trackback ability and has numerous posts that are product pushes.

Here is what they should have done, one post admitting to mistakes of the past, saying we want to change, we want to listen and left it alone for like at least a week and let comments roll in. Then let those comments dictate what gets talked about next. Corporate blogging is about listening not PR. You must hire extremely senior, dynamic, highly skilled and understanding people with diverse experiences in life and a passion and understanding of process refinement for these roles. That would have gotten respect from the blogosphere. Rick Klau has a nice post on the topic of feedback.

Late last month, I purchased a new Dell, here is my unbiased review of it so far. It was written a week ago as a public service to both Dell and the blogoshpere. Maybe blog search engines need to reward those types of posts more, what do you think?    

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Chicago Sun-Times, Where are the Trackbacks?

The Chicago Sun-Times has launched some blogs this year that allow both comments. BRAVO!!! I’ll reward them by joining their conversations:

Most Dissapointing Cub – Dusty Baker

Edit: Actually, the trackback feature seems not to work even though it is displayed and I changed the title of this post. This is most unfortunate. They should open the entire online edition to both comments and trackbacks.   

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IABC Poll Results and Worse Data

Shel Israel just posted an interesting poll that says many IABC (International Association of Business Communicators) members believe angry bloggers should be ignored.

While I don’t believe polls are always accurate or should be used in lieu of actual discussion, I do believe in the power of data to indicate facts.

If you visit the IABC Jobs section(I prefer the term careers because it at least implies actual development) you will see that it currently has 271 open listings. I don’t think Shel will be too happy to learn that if you apply the word “blog” as a filter you end up with only 3 listings or a mere 1.1% of the roles listed (at the time of this posting) even include the word blog as any part of the job description, monitoring or doing it, let alone a critical part of it. My research was funded by nobody and took far less time than their poll. 🙂 

Effective and progressive culture starts with the hiring process, knowing what you truly want, being open to new ways of approaching problems and why you need it. If people doing the wrong things hire people based on the wrong objectives the cycle sadly continues. It is time for a new era of C-level leadership in corporate America, one who is experienced in change and customer experience management, has an appreciation of diversity of opinion, understands that new metrics must be developed and 21st Century communications tools. The fact that Tom Peters wrote the foreword to “Naked Conversations” speaks volumes on my hypothesis. I can’t wait to join one of those companies in the 1.1%. Is the 1.1% the new 53,561? Maybe.

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My New Dell PC User Experience – Not Enough USB Ports

My Dell Dimension 8200 died last month – dead fan after 4.5 years – RIP – you can buy it’s old memory a valuable and rare RDRAM type here (sold it on ebay). I ordered a new Dell Dimension 9150, I wanted to summarize my thoughts both good and bad:

The Good:
– PC arrived in less than one week from the time I ordered it.
– PC came with a factory installed quiet and wonderful Western Digital hard drive. 🙂
– Sturdy case compared to some other brands I’ve seen recently.
– Tall tower with more internal expansion ports.
– New fan system is entirely different and whisper quiet now!
– New PC is much, much lighter.

The not so good, but not exactly ugly:
–     Dell got rid of the parallel port connection for printers so I had to buy a new cable from – ironically they had a cable for $7 delivered. The “best” Best Buy price for any printer cable was $30+, who needs a Gold plated printer cable? Not me sounds like Best Buy isn’t focusing on the customers needs but on profit instead.  Fortunately I saw this in the design and ordered it and it got here first – this not only caused me to buy an unnecessary new cable, but it caused me to utilize another USB port.
–     Dell removed the old keyboard and mouse connectors such that they needed, you guessed it, two more USB ports.
–     I used up a PCI port to put in my USB 2.0 card from my old PC because I needed to, it’s sad that a new PC doesn’t come standard with enough USB ports. Please add more USB ports in the future models stock. How do you miss such a simple -3 plus nothing equals problem?
–     Silver is the new black apparently. But then why is the new monitor black when the new desktop is silver? I guess they didn’t get the memo in that division.
–     The express service code tag is way to small and white ink on a clear label on silver is not exactly the type of transparency I’m looking for from Dell.
–     The unit was shipped without the audio line in jacks set to on – this led to an hour of wasted time – both Dell’s and mine on an unnecessary phone call.
–     It was delivered via UPS, I can not think of company that has a lesser understanding of who the true customer is – the person on the receiving end paying the driver’s salary by paying for the shipping in the first place! This organization would do well to hire a Chief Customer Experience Officer that monitored the blogs for ideas (if they need help with candidate selection for the retained executive search, please let me know). If I had time, I might make this a Jeff Jarvis type blog about UPS, but I’m too busy with many more much more exciting things right now.

Any other questions? Please comment.

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Technorati CEO David Sifry on How to Build Corporate Culture Right

I just listened to a great interview on Technorati’s CEO David Sifry. His views on corporate culture and teamwork mirror my own and remind me of BlackRock’s culture. I would love to join for a start up with a culture and leader such as this and would like to interview David myself as there is some things he said that are really worth exploring more deeply. Here is a summary of some of his quotes and philosophies, I really enjoyed listening to him as it reminded me there are organizations out there with truly outstanding cultures:  
Be of service (to others)

You have to make profit, but we need to be here on this planet for more than that.

Profit is an effect, not a cause.

The blogosphere is always smarter than me and my team!

I’m going to try to fail as quickly as possible so that we can learn from our mistakes and never make the same mistakes twice. (He also talks about a few of those mistakes)

One of the most important things I do is chose what not to do.

If we don’t execute, it doesn’t matter.

Back when I was a CTO(previous companies before he was CEO), I used to actually think that building a technology company was all about the technology. I mean I know, funny huh?  I used to actually think it was about the technology being in the technology business. What I’ve learned as CEO is in fact totally secondary! In fact, it’s a far second. Far more important than the technology is the team that you build! 

Five Corporate Values above the “mantra of service”

Understanding David Sifry’s views makes you clearly see the reasons for Technorati’s success. There are great lessons here for anyone starting a business. I’m really glad I got to know him better and hope to learn more from him soon, his views on both teams and corporate culture are so much like my own.

As I’ve studied search engine companies like Yahoo!, Google and MSN as well as top agencies, I’ve become fascinated with the role culture plays in these high growth organizations. What other CEO’s, venture capital and other leaders do you admire and who should I be talking to and learning about? Please drop me a note and let me know.