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Who"s davidlian?

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davidlian is an ultra-geeky chinese dude that works for a technology PR agency. He loves fiddling with techno-toys, plays Warhammer 40K, and shoots pictures wherever he goes. Here, he rants about PR, Technology and anything else. Don't expect balance and un-biased, he ain't no journalist. Anything said on this blog are solely davidlian's personal views. Don't confuse them with company mantra, client's views or views of any organisation he may be part of.

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Notes on Corporate Blogging: MAS' Blog

Read this story yesterday in The Star. So what did you think about our national airline launching what's possibly the first local company employee advocate blog in Malaysia?

MASBlog - Share on Ovi

Sounds like a step in the right direction for the corporate acceptance of new media if you ask me. But a closer reading of The Star's headline "MAS blog to push sales" is more telling than perhaps its meant to be.

The following is just my two sen as a consumer and I'd doubt if it was sage or expert advice. I couldn't help but notice how most of the posts seemed to be about:
1. Rising costs of living - thus tied to how MAS is helping people save money.
2. Internal programmes and how helpful and interesting they were.
3. A post about MAS' current promotions

I'll say this as constructively as I can: As a reader I felt that the content on the blog (which may have really jsut been honest postings by MAS staff) sounds like cleverly orchestrated topics meant to tell the story that MAS would like to tell.

Now, that's not a wrong objective to begin with; in fact, that's precisely the point - the blog is an outlet to tell consumers your story and make us understand you better. But I'm trying to say it reads like it was cleverly orchestrated and not organic enough.

Why? Because your average reader doesn't want to hear how fun an internal training programme was. We want to hear views on issues, internal programmes that translate to external results, sneak peeks of your upcoming products etc. etc.

Secondly, I would also like to see comments turned on with minimal moderation (except for abusive flaming).

In both respects, I think Dell does a great job with its direct2dell blog. For one, focuses on the people inside Dell and gives them a free-hand in posting topics that don't necessarily relate back to the companies' products. Of course, when it does have to do with products, we get additional thoughts and notes on Dell's thought process. More importantly, consumers have the opportunity to write back to the company and have Dell respond directly on the comment threads. To Dell's credit, they've not deleted many posts (evidenced by some nasty comments still online).

I particularly like how Dell responded to a rumour that it was phasing out its XPS line of gaming PCs earlier this year thru using the blog. Very web 2.0. Though I must say, Dell could do better in actually responding to the comments.

As more and more companies start adopting blogs and the like to engage customers and the public online, I think the early forays have taught us at least one thing. The blog is a big opportunity to actually engage consumers in a conversation; that means information flows both ways. Many corporates are still iffy on this as the possibility (and inevitability) of nasty comments are always present, but I'd say don't be put off. If people aren't complaining on your blog, they sure are complaining in other online forums. Ignorance isn't bliss. So kudos on MAS for the blog, but let's have some comments enabled!

4 comments:

suanie said...

i glanced through the blog.

it belongs to the 'who gives a shit' category.

refer to gaping void article again :)

Simon Seow said...

I want The Dark Knight premierre ticket. What you mean it's over? It's not next Tuesday meh?

davidlian said...

@suan: agreed. Drop it in the bin.
@simon: whoops! It's over lah. Was this week.

Priyanka said...

We have recently started a corporate blog www.mahindrauniverse.com around the 4 themes innovation, customer centricity, globalization and sustainability
Do let us know your views on it.