Crossroads Dispatches: Dot's Flowers: Lack of Ethics? How About Lack of Imagination?: "I'm too jaded to be appalled by lack of ethics, but I am amazed by the lack of imagination. Paying bloggers $5 for a blog mention (assuming transparency)? Original, huh?"
Evelyn is cool. Sometimes her writing is a little hard to read, but I like the point she's highlighting here.
Some people don't get it. Blogs are compelling because they cut through the marketing BS. They are "the people's voice". That's what makes them compelling. Some marketing folks see them as nothing more than another place where they can yell their message. They want to treat them like radio, tv, or print advertising.
Here are my thoughts about "using" blogs to promote a product.
Step 1: Engage in what your customers are already doing.
Step 2: Make something completely awesome. Using what your learned by engaging your customers.
Step 3: Support the hell out of your customers.
Step 4: Don't try to control the message, learn from the one that takes shape.
Step 5: Act on the message that takes shape.
Step 6: Profit?
I used to think not everything could be marketed through blogs. But Joel seems to be marketing fogbugz through his blog pretty well. I suppose if you are marketing into an industry that doesn't blog you might find it harder.
Only slightly related question:
How transparent is too transparent?
As a customer, how would you like to hear "We couldn't fix your bug because the dev team went out last night and they're all hung over, we'll do it tomorrow."? Or "We want to fix your bug but this other customer pays us more so we have to do their bugs first"?
I can't imagine there's a company out there willing to be that transparent, but is there anything wrong with it?