Wow, Sony delays PS3 in Europe

I bet that over on the Millenium Campus at Microsoft (which is where the Xbox was developed) they are having smiles on their faces tonight.

Why? Cause Sony announced today (thanks HD Beat) that they are slipping the launch of PS3 in Europe to March and they are limiting the number of units for US and Japan to 500,000. That sounds like a lot, but it really isn’t, not during Christmas.

Both moves virtually guarantee that Xbox will see sizeable market share gains over the next nine months. I wonder how many games will be developed with such limited numbers available?

I remember when Christopher Coulter gave me crap about Xbox 360 and said that Sony would eat its lunch. Not looking so good for Sony lately.

TechMeme has a lot more on this.

Facebook under major revolt

OK, OK, I tried to avoid the whole Facebook thing. After all, I’m not a college student so don’t really think it applies to me but their community is in the middle of a major revolt.

The Facebook team has shown very little astuteness about how to deal with communities, though.

Having your CEO to tell people to “calm down” (as reported on TechCrunch, actually on their own blog) ain’t the way to get people to stop throwing molotov cocktails through your front window.

When the users talk, you should listen. And listening is hard sometimes.

Other notable discussion of this issue:

Jack Schofield in the Guardian Unlimited, writes “Facebook’s giant blunder.”

Mark Canter takes Facebook’s side (but explains that Facebook should cry Uncle and listen to its users) in a post titled “Facebook gets dissed by its users for providing coolio new features.”

Kristin Maverick, who writes the BitePR blog, penned this headline: Facebook rightfully earns the name Stalkerbook with new features.

And, of course, there are more, many more, posts over on TechMeme.

Drew Meyers is reporting that in just 30 minutes tonight that more than 20,000 people joined the protest page.

This doesn’t seem to be something small or containable.

What should Facebook do?

1) Get out of text. Use video to talk with your community. Video is better than text because it is more human, more connecting, and more likely to get links. Also, you can make your case much better to the community in video than in text. But, basically, I’d recommend giving them what they want. The feedback is so overwhelming that you need to turn off the new features by default and add more granularity to the tracking behavior.

2) Build a community group with a good cross-section of your users. That you can talk with in a small room. Include both “Z list” and “A list” and a few inbetween too in this group. Make it as diverse as you can. Include people from around the world. PAY THEM to fly into meet with you. Then have them ask your development teams what they are doing on their behalf. Video that to the world live and encourage them to blog and podcast whatever they want to the world. Demonstrate that you’re humble, listening, and able to make decisions on their behalf right there and then.

3) Open up your company to real, interactive, blogging. Demonstrate you are listening. Listen. Listen. Listen. If you don’t know what I mean by that, open up Google Blog Search or Technorati. Type “Facebook” into there. Then start writing on your blog where you link to EVERYONE who has something nasty to say about you and answer their questions honestly and openly. Word on the street is that Facebook is a very conservative company internally when it comes to blogging. Now is the time to open that up and get everyone to make a human connection to your users.

4) Engage with bloggers. Directly. In their comments. I’m seeing way too many blogs without ANY comment from Facebook employees, especially the negative ones. Don’t just talk with TechCrunch and Scoble and other “A listers.” Get out to EVERYONE if you want to turn this around.

Good luck, you’re gonna need it. You’re in for a wild ride.

What would you ask Jonathan Schwartz?

I’m interviewing Sun Microsystems’ CEO, Jonathan Schwartz tomorrow afternoon. Instead of coming up with my usual stupid questions I thought “why not have my readers interview him?”

By the way, isn’t his blog the best executive communication out there?

So, what would you like to ask Jonathan? Include your name and I’ll read it on my new show when it starts later in September.

“Colossally stupid,” CA attorney general says of HP chairwoman

The news simply keeps getting worse in the HP case. Now California’s attorney general issued subpoenas Wednesday in an investigation of whether laws were broken when private investigators, hired by Hewlett-Packard’s board chairwoman, secretly obtained phone records of board members to see who leaked confidential information. Thanks to Therese Poletti and Michele Chandler of the San Jose Mercury News for reporting this.

Key quote:

“I have no settled view as to whether or not the chairwoman’s acts were illegal, but I do think they were colossally stupid,” Bill Lockyer told the Mercury News in an interview. “We’ll have to wait until the investigation concludes to determine whether they were felony stupid or not.”

Two companies in trouble, two separate paths

Two companies are in trouble. One, HP. One, Ford.

But look at how Ford is handing its trouble. With video. With candor. With transparency. This is investor relations for the YouTube generation. I’ve been watching Ford’s bold moves video blog and I wanted to hate it. But, it’s turning me. And, even if it doesn’t turn the market (it probably won’t, it’s not aimed at the total market, just at the investors, employees, influentials who will need to keep the faith if a company in trouble is ever going to turn around) it is definitely getting noticed and talked about inside corporate boardrooms and here in Silicon Valley.

How did HP handle it? Well, you can go over to Google News, just like I did and see. No video. No candor. No accountability. Nothing other than an official press announcement without a press conference.

Kudos to Ford. I’m rooting for you.

Oh, and my Ford Focus hit 30,000 miles without a single problem. It’s a wonderful car. Make more like that and you’ll find your troubles going away and your brand increasing in quality.