What a very nice compliment....

Government and private organisations need to think twice about adversarial approaches to online criticism and must learn how to engage with social networking and other websites if they want to control their public image.

That's the message from Steve Hodgkinson, the director of government practice in Australia and New Zealand for telecommunications consultancy Ovum.  ...

"Organisations need to be aware of the conversational character of social networks and that they transgress the rules at their peril. They need to talk with networks, but the conversation needs to be transparent."

He says there are several examples of bloggers that command considerable web respect for their transparent stance as company employees, and cites IBM Business Unit Executive Ed Brill as just one example.
I've made a conscious effort over the last several months to express a broader range of views about IBM Lotus here. I've picked up blog entries that have been unfavorable, and also tried to be more balanced in expressing my opinion about IBM efforts and activities.  

It is, admittedly, a lot easier to be balanced today than it was four years ago, at the relative nadir of the Notes/Domino market.  At that time, any negative statement was likely to be amplified 100x, especially as there were many things going on within my division that I didn't personally agree with.  The early blogging days, with this community's willingness to say what you think, helped shape many of the ideas, activities, and directions that lead to the Notes/Domino business turnaround.  

It is still a personal objective for me to engage with crtiical or negative online commentary about Lotus and Notes/Domino.  The blogging world has provided positive results for doing so.  It's not all perfect -- why anyone thinks it is at all relevant to link to the "interface hall of shame" entry on Notes circa 1999 and think that it is indicative of anything other than their own ignorance, I'm not sure -- but increasingly, I find that there's no difficulty in joining in online discussion with those who really welcome being informed, and it's not always about proving someone wrong.

Link: M-Net NZ: Fight bad press in forums not the courts, organisations told > (Thanks, Duffbert)

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