Tara, invisible to Microsoft

Personal note to Tara Hunt: you don't exist. :-)

Oh, sorry, for everyone else, I'm just having some fun with Tara. She notes that big companies like Microsoft are gonna have a tough time getting it.

Totally agreed.

But, we have our secret weapons: Technorati and Bloglines and Feedster and NewsGator and IceRocket and other blog search engines.

They let us listen like a small startup.

The problem is, even when we hear, it takes a lot of convincing internally.

But, even there, we have another secret weapon: internal blogs. Email mailing lists. Lunch meetings. And social pressure.

Tara applies the social pressure. Which is why she's not invisible.

She's also onto something.

Big companies don't get small things. I was talking about that with a bunch of MBA students last night. The average billionaire executive doesn't understand why you'd speak to 100 MBA students. After all, Bill Gates could buy a full page ad in the New York Times and not notice the money missing from his account, right?

But, that's why my email is on my blog. Why my cell phone is on my blog (it's down at the right, and, yes, I do answer it, if I'm not in an interview or something like that).

By the way, I deleted all my feeds and am starting over. Tara's one of the first I added back in.

34 thoughts on “Tara, invisible to Microsoft

  1. Do big companies actually get /big/ things? I’m thinking “The Road Ahead” first (web-free) edition.

    Anyhow, refreshing to hear you wiped your subscriptions. Won’t feel so bad next time myself :-) (I’ll ping you if I have anything remotely of interest …)

  2. Do big companies actually get /big/ things? I’m thinking “The Road Ahead” first (web-free) edition.

    Anyhow, refreshing to hear you wiped your subscriptions. Won’t feel so bad next time myself :-) (I’ll ping you if I have anything remotely of interest …)

  3. Robert, I feel exactly what you’ve written, and have experienced it.

    Not ALL big corporations are asleep, or not listening. I’m listening, I really am.

    But you’re prob right about this, “The problem is, even when we hear, it takes a lot of convincing internally”

    you fight the good fight.

  4. Robert, I feel exactly what you’ve written, and have experienced it.

    Not ALL big corporations are asleep, or not listening. I’m listening, I really am.

    But you’re prob right about this, “The problem is, even when we hear, it takes a lot of convincing internally”

    you fight the good fight.

  5. I’m still deleting some comments to keep things on track and conversational. But only after publishing. That way everyone isn’t waiting for me to get around to it.

  6. I’m still deleting some comments to keep things on track and conversational. But only after publishing. That way everyone isn’t waiting for me to get around to it.

  7. Errr…Sorry for the double comment but have you stopped moderating comments??? My comment appeared instantly? I knew it was too hazardous to last long. ;D

    ~ CC

  8. Errr…Sorry for the double comment but have you stopped moderating comments??? My comment appeared instantly? I knew it was too hazardous to last long. ;D

    ~ CC

  9. Hmm…Yes Technorati is without doubt the most successful of them all. Because it kept in mind what people required and didn’t act snobbish like others did. Today, Google has forgotten it’s basics, it has forgotten that the people gave it power and it’s not doing what we need but what they think we need. This is a horrible attitude on Google’s Part.

    The big companies need to really wake up and answer people’s calls. They need to listen to what we say, after all we run the company, not them. :( Complancency is one evil that everybody falls prey too. >>:(( Recently even Del.icio.us, Digg, Flickr and some other big names. That’s why I have shifted to BlinkList, Zooomr and other fresh companies that have sprouted up…..

    As for your feeds, I think you need to ditch memeorandum and broaden your horizons. For the first time, look at the true blogosphere, not just a small ring.

  10. Hmm…Yes Technorati is without doubt the most successful of them all. Because it kept in mind what people required and didn’t act snobbish like others did. Today, Google has forgotten it’s basics, it has forgotten that the people gave it power and it’s not doing what we need but what they think we need. This is a horrible attitude on Google’s Part.

    The big companies need to really wake up and answer people’s calls. They need to listen to what we say, after all we run the company, not them. :( Complancency is one evil that everybody falls prey too. >>:(( Recently even Del.icio.us, Digg, Flickr and some other big names. That’s why I have shifted to BlinkList, Zooomr and other fresh companies that have sprouted up…..

    As for your feeds, I think you need to ditch memeorandum and broaden your horizons. For the first time, look at the true blogosphere, not just a small ring.

  11. I don’t use RSS readers much. They seem kludgy, plus they change the look and feel. I prefer being on the actual site, and do it via BookMarks in FireFox, and can scan dozens of blogs in a few minutes that way.

    Also, and maybe this is because my main blog, polizeros.com, is political, I’m not looking for what everyone is blogging. Quite the opposite. I want new stuff, what other aren’t blogging about. So, while memeorandum is great for getting a quick scan of news, I rarely blog off something there.

    Another, bigger, political blog noted mine as “off the beaten track”, maybe so, however my visitors per day has gone from 3,000 to 4,000 in 2 months, so blogging about what others aren’t can create conversations too.

  12. I don’t use RSS readers much. They seem kludgy, plus they change the look and feel. I prefer being on the actual site, and do it via BookMarks in FireFox, and can scan dozens of blogs in a few minutes that way.

    Also, and maybe this is because my main blog, polizeros.com, is political, I’m not looking for what everyone is blogging. Quite the opposite. I want new stuff, what other aren’t blogging about. So, while memeorandum is great for getting a quick scan of news, I rarely blog off something there.

    Another, bigger, political blog noted mine as “off the beaten track”, maybe so, however my visitors per day has gone from 3,000 to 4,000 in 2 months, so blogging about what others aren’t can create conversations too.

  13. Hi Robert

    I am not sure Tara was focusing on the not getting it (although big companies genrally don’t) She was more concerned about the fact that even if they do get it the internal hiearchies and processes prevent anything happening about it. In a large company it is difficult to prevent this happening unless you are willing to turn regular organisational structures on their head.

    There are however innovative companies out there changing things. A great example is 37 Signals, Jason Fired, 37s visionary does the customer support, That way he gets to know how the products work and what customers need. I can’t see this sort of thing ha[ppening in larger businesses, infact larger businesses make support more difficult by charging extra for it!!

    Thus I would be interested in knowing how Microsoft are ‘getting it ineternally’, or how anyone else scales their business to remain competitive given the challenges laid down by these smaller smarter businesses.

    PS take more blog breaks, it makes your blog light up like a beacon…

    regards
    Al

  14. Hi Robert

    I am not sure Tara was focusing on the not getting it (although big companies genrally don’t) She was more concerned about the fact that even if they do get it the internal hiearchies and processes prevent anything happening about it. In a large company it is difficult to prevent this happening unless you are willing to turn regular organisational structures on their head.

    There are however innovative companies out there changing things. A great example is 37 Signals, Jason Fired, 37s visionary does the customer support, That way he gets to know how the products work and what customers need. I can’t see this sort of thing ha[ppening in larger businesses, infact larger businesses make support more difficult by charging extra for it!!

    Thus I would be interested in knowing how Microsoft are ‘getting it ineternally’, or how anyone else scales their business to remain competitive given the challenges laid down by these smaller smarter businesses.

    PS take more blog breaks, it makes your blog light up like a beacon…

    regards
    Al

  15. Good job on deleting your feeds, Robert. Now, stop reading Memeorandum too. Get out of your own echo chamber and see what else is out there.

    See you at MindCamp2.0!

  16. Good job on deleting your feeds, Robert. Now, stop reading Memeorandum too. Get out of your own echo chamber and see what else is out there.

    See you at MindCamp2.0!

  17. I just deleted a whole lot of feeds from my bloglines account too :-)

    Come over and read my blog, if you get the time !

    I recently gave a talk on internal blogging at an Indian IT firm (Shel helped me connect to someone at IBM who gave the internal blogging perspective)

    regards
    Gautam

  18. I just deleted a whole lot of feeds from my bloglines account too :-)

    Come over and read my blog, if you get the time !

    I recently gave a talk on internal blogging at an Indian IT firm (Shel helped me connect to someone at IBM who gave the internal blogging perspective)

    regards
    Gautam

  19. I have been an avid reader of Tara’s for a while now and have become hooked on her Pinko Marketing logic of which I think she talks when she made this last post.

    For me, where Tara is coming from is in the fact that smaller organisations are able to address customers on a more 1-2-1 basis and understand, talk and innteract with the customers.

    By “being at one” with customers, it enables conversations to grow. It is not necessarily rocket science, but one in which I agree that larger organisations would find hard to implement.

    I know most of my bathroom customers by their first name. I know abotu their kids, what they do for a living their ailments and the type of house they have. I receive quite daily orders but I am reaching a point where the numbers of enquiries I am getting mean I am unable to spend the time I need to to get to know these new customers as much as the older ones (when I had the time).

    Multiply this up to a company of many hundreds of sales people and you have a pressure to process orders as quickly as possible and to almost significantly de-humanise the order taking process.

    Tara’s logic of creating a conversation is as much a process (operational) change as a mental one. Big companies need to WANT to find ways of creating hundreds of mini conversations and befiending customers, then find ways of implementing this throughout their sales force.

  20. I have been an avid reader of Tara’s for a while now and have become hooked on her Pinko Marketing logic of which I think she talks when she made this last post.

    For me, where Tara is coming from is in the fact that smaller organisations are able to address customers on a more 1-2-1 basis and understand, talk and innteract with the customers.

    By “being at one” with customers, it enables conversations to grow. It is not necessarily rocket science, but one in which I agree that larger organisations would find hard to implement.

    I know most of my bathroom customers by their first name. I know abotu their kids, what they do for a living their ailments and the type of house they have. I receive quite daily orders but I am reaching a point where the numbers of enquiries I am getting mean I am unable to spend the time I need to to get to know these new customers as much as the older ones (when I had the time).

    Multiply this up to a company of many hundreds of sales people and you have a pressure to process orders as quickly as possible and to almost significantly de-humanise the order taking process.

    Tara’s logic of creating a conversation is as much a process (operational) change as a mental one. Big companies need to WANT to find ways of creating hundreds of mini conversations and befiending customers, then find ways of implementing this throughout their sales force.

  21. How ironic you did that, I deleted all my feeds 2 weeks ago and started from scratch, best thing I’ve ever done.

    There is so much overlap, makes me wonder why anyone isn’t working on an RSS reader to solve this overlap. I mean how difficult would it take to get an application to analyze all your feeds, then find out those 10 bloggers are talking about the same thing, and present it in a nice, easy to read format…

    Oh wait memeorandum does that, but not to my PERSONAL feeds.

    Stop keeping the algorithm secret, we need it out in the open, rss readers need to evolve. River of news was the first evolution, making news faster to read instead of message by message, now we need the second evolution, linking multiple articles talking about the same sort of content. Call it whatever you want, I think the term “grouping” says it best.

    I want to have my feed list be full of people I trust, and my RSS reader to handle my content accordingly.

  22. How ironic you did that, I deleted all my feeds 2 weeks ago and started from scratch, best thing I’ve ever done.

    There is so much overlap, makes me wonder why anyone isn’t working on an RSS reader to solve this overlap. I mean how difficult would it take to get an application to analyze all your feeds, then find out those 10 bloggers are talking about the same thing, and present it in a nice, easy to read format…

    Oh wait memeorandum does that, but not to my PERSONAL feeds.

    Stop keeping the algorithm secret, we need it out in the open, rss readers need to evolve. River of news was the first evolution, making news faster to read instead of message by message, now we need the second evolution, linking multiple articles talking about the same sort of content. Call it whatever you want, I think the term “grouping” says it best.

    I want to have my feed list be full of people I trust, and my RSS reader to handle my content accordingly.

  23. Robert, we know you are listening! And I think you are right that Microsoft is starting to listen better. But many other big companies still don’t get it.

    I was at the Gilbane conference yesterday, and the sales folks for one of the big CMS vendors literally asked me “So…. what is a blog”. After I finished telling him about blogs, Wikis, Web Office and the future of Web 2.0 in the enterprise, I told him about companies like SocialText, SixApart and Automattic.

    This guy’s response was “Interesting…. they’ll probably end up getting bought by one of the big CMS vendors”

    I’m not sure that Microsoft has fully gotten it. No one in MS sales has talked to me about the enterprise blogging solution I am building within a 100,000+ person firm…. and I publish everything about what we need on my blog.

    But, initiatives like Live Clip indicate that maybe Microsoft is really starting to get it. I’m on the email list and I can tell you that they listened to feed-back and turned around a better specification very quickly.

  24. Robert, we know you are listening! And I think you are right that Microsoft is starting to listen better. But many other big companies still don’t get it.

    I was at the Gilbane conference yesterday, and the sales folks for one of the big CMS vendors literally asked me “So…. what is a blog”. After I finished telling him about blogs, Wikis, Web Office and the future of Web 2.0 in the enterprise, I told him about companies like SocialText, SixApart and Automattic.

    This guy’s response was “Interesting…. they’ll probably end up getting bought by one of the big CMS vendors”

    I’m not sure that Microsoft has fully gotten it. No one in MS sales has talked to me about the enterprise blogging solution I am building within a 100,000+ person firm…. and I publish everything about what we need on my blog.

    But, initiatives like Live Clip indicate that maybe Microsoft is really starting to get it. I’m on the email list and I can tell you that they listened to feed-back and turned around a better specification very quickly.

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