My posting from yesterday which referenced the MS Exchange team's weblog seems to have caused a bit of a stir.  In one case, I've been flamed a bit (perhaps justifiably) for turning what was likely an attempt at proactive customer communication into a competitive flareup (the other is simply a "caught in the web" link on Network World).  Further, the entry has been linked to in the comments on a Scobelizer blog entry about how the Exchange team took a risk in using their blog in a "customer-centric" way.
I knew, and indicated at the time of posting, that I was taking a bit of a risk in pointing to the Exchange team's blog.  First of all, I've essentially forced them to think about the competition when writing for their corporate blog.  To me, this is not a new concept -- I have avoided having any kind of approval cycle for the lotus.com/weblog precisely by adopting the mindset there that anything I write will be picked up in the trade press or elsewhere.  To the Exchange team, though, with a blog that is in its infancy, this was probably unexpected.  Second, I've made myself the evil one, when in fact I was trying to make the same point that Scoble was -- that it was admirable for the Exchange team to use the blog to communicate with their customers in this way.  Last, taking the competitive battle between us and Microsoft to dueling weblogs seems like it is a slippery slope -- that this could devolve quickly, and it's an unfair fight because I wrote from my own personal website rather than lotus.com/weblog (where I have taken jabs at competitors, but usually in a quite subtle way).
All this linking also led me to a Tim Bray blog entry called "The new world of PR".   Bray thought that Scoble's use of his blog as a way for Microsoft to deny the rumors of their involvement in the SCO situation was

the first time I know of that a big company has gone to one of their bloggers to get a critical piece of PR out.
Actually, I'm not sure that's true.  We started the lotus.com/weblog precisely to use in this way.  For example, when an unknown hacker somehow convinced people that Lotus Sametime had a supposed vulnerability, this entry on the lotus.com/weblog debunked it.  There have been other situations as well where I've written as "the voice of Lotus" about timely topics, in an attempt to communicate Lotus's official position through that medium.
All this has me thinking more about the idea of turning lotus.com/weblog into a group effort, a la the Exchange team's work.  Funny how this all goes around and around.

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