Modern marketing

Here's an example of the cluetrain stopping at an unlikely spot.

Bob Scoble is using blogs to put a human face on Microsoft. Think that's impossible? Check this out.

    How to Hate Microsoft

    In all my travels throughout the blogosphere, I've met quite a few people who viscerally hate Microsoft. In fact, a few even admit it openly on their weblogs.
    So, I figure I'd write a guide called ?how to hate Microsoft.? The problem is, there are two types of people:

    1) Those who hate Microsoft.
    2) Those who hate Microsoft but want to see it improve.

    So, if you just plain old hate Microsoft, here's what to say:

    ?I hate Microsoft. Your monopoly is the only thing keeping you in business. You guys are unfair in business. You are weasels. Your software sucks. You smell. Anyone who works at Microsoft is a shill. Why do you keep bringing out software that infuriates me??

    If you hate Microsoft, but want us to improve, here's what to say:

    ?I hate Microsoft. Your monopoly is the only thing keeping you in business. You guys are unfair in business. You are weasels. Your software sucks. You smell. Anyone who works at Microsoft is a shill. Why do you keep bringing out software that infuriates me??

    Whoa, there's no difference between the two, right? Might look like it on the surface, but the person who wants us to improve will keep reading. After all, if you just hate Microsoft, why you reading a Longhorn blog?

    If you want us to improve, now we're getting someplace. Take a deep breath. Relax. Feel better?

    See, next week we're doing something different. We're asking you to help us improve Longhorn so it's an operating system that you can't hate.

    Why is this a massive change? Everytime we've released a version of Windows before we kept it secret. We made anyone who saw it sign an NDA (non-disclosure agreement). Even many of those of you who signed NDAs weren't really given full access to the development teams and often if you were, it was too late to really help improve the product.

    Let me explain. I've only been a Microsoft employee for five months. Back in the good old days I was a beta tester. First with Windows 95 and NT, later with 98, ME, 2000, and XP.

    I never really got to work with the development teams while the software was in a ?pre-beta? state. I never had a weblog where I could tell them ?I hate the UI? years before the software will ship. Yeah, we had secret newsgroups back in the good old days. Some of us even got invited to meet with the development teams. But, never did Microsoft ask me to write on my public weblog all of its dirty laundry so that it could improve.

    Next week, that's exactly what we're asking for. Tear into Longhorn and tell us what you think. more.

Bob Scoble is hardly the sharpest knife in the drawer at Microsoft, but he's helping create a more friendly, personable side of the Evil Empire. This may be worth more to the future of the company than its tech trickes. Scoble's so honest, he's disarming. After the rants die down, people will respect Microsoft for this -- if they take the advice they're being offered.

That's just my opinion. I may be wrong.

Posted by Jay Cross at October 23, 2003 11:10 PM | TrackBack

Could MS finally be getting a clue?

Next you'll be telling me that they're going to focus on security and bite the bullet in sending out a million security patches for holes that shouldn't have been in the original product...

Posted by: Book Review at October 24, 2003 09:12 AM

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