Dell gets the cold shoulder

SMS Text

Dell has launched a new corporate blog, one2one, but rather than the
traditional warm welcome most major corporate blogs receive Dell’s has
received nothing but a fierce kick-in-the-ass. Surely by now you’ve seen or read about the whole fiasco.
Steve Rubel took the first jab…

Dell really failed to get the blog going the way that they
could have. This was a golden opportunity for the company. They could
use the blog to engage the community in a genuine conversation on the
critical issues that have dogged them for years now as well as the good things they are doing. (Recent pictures of a Dell computer blowing up at a conference in Japan were recently the rage in the blogosphere and now the media.) However, they chose not to

The first thing I noticed was the blog looks like nothing but a place
for Dell to pitch us on new products and services. Despite the subtitle “Direct Conversations with Dell” there is not much conversation going on. Dell is clearly controlling the conversation. Jeff Jarvis says…

The subtitle is “direct conversations with Dell” but this is as much a conversation as yelling at a brick wall. There is not one link there. It’s filled with promotions for Dell’s wonderfulness.

Paul Stamatiou (aka Stammy) offers Dell some much needed advice…

Another thing Dell’s doing wrong is fostering discussion.
They have inadequately trained comment moderators who are not letting
any comments through. I have left several constructive and fairly
well-mannered comments but they have yet to appear on the blog. With all the traffic they must be getting, I can only imagine they are being flooded with comments, but hastily deleting them is a wrong move. Now there are guidelines for what types of comments to immediately delete – comments with profanity, spam or off-topic jargon. Everything else should be fair game. On a corporate blog, such comment censorship is a reviled tactic.

These are great points and hopefully Dell means it when they say they’re listening and welcome our ideas. This will serve as a great lesson to all corporations looking to start a new blog. Don’t start a blog as another advertising medium to shove down people’s throats. Start a blog because you want genuine communication with your customers, and be open to addressing issues. We can see through the bullshit and will call you on it every time.

Update: Scott Karp gives a good look at the other side of the story…

I think the lesson here is more for the Blog Police than Dell – beware of orthodoxy, ideology, sanctimony, hypocrisy, and most of all, remember that if this IS a conversation, we need to treat people on the other end with a certain degree of respect. (This is a lesson that I have learned and continue to learn through blogging.)

Cameron Olthuis

Cameron Olthuis

Cameron Olthuis

Latest posts by Cameron Olthuis (see all)

Get the latest news from Search Engine Journal!
We value your privacy! See our policy here.
  • Christopher

    Thanks for this post; I’m one of the people who’s comments have been deleted/moderated/censored…
    I don’t know what led me to believe that the Blog would be any better than Dell’s own community forum…which thusfar has been just the same story.
    Since my comment didn’t make it onto one2one, I posted it over on Steve Rubels and Jeff Jarvis’s site instead…
    anyways, its good to see that at least your comment was posted (or maybe its just posted as a trackback…?)

  • Cameron

    Ya, I believe my comment is a trackback, but you never know how long that will stay there.

    It’s really unfortunate to see what’s happening with their blog, especially regading the comment issue. They’ve shot themselves in the foot with this one and I’m not sure they’ll be able to recover.

    On the bright side this is a great lesson to any involved with blogging, personally or profressionally – I know I’ve learned a thing or two.

  • David

    So what’s the deal with the comments? Are they deleting comments that are unfavorable? (I haven’t read anything about this anywhere else yet.) Or could it be that they’re just so overwhelmed with comments because of the interest in their blog, that they’ve been unable to keep up with the task of moderating them? I don’t blame them for moderating comments — especially here at first. This was sure to be a minefield because of the inflammatory nature of the “Dell Hell” saga.

  • Cameron

    David – No one can say for sure but it seems like they’re being deleted. Moderating comments isn’t that hard of a task that it would take a day to approve. Also, like Christopher says, they do the same thing on the forum.

    I can understand moderating flamitory comments but I know a few people that tried leaving comments with constructive feedback.

  • David

    Yeah, that’s not a good idea on Dell’s part. My only hesitation in criticizing them for that point is that I think it’s possible they’ve gotten tons and tons of comments and have simply been unable to dig through them (especially since these bloggers appear to have other full-time jobs at Dell).