Obviously there are plenty of IBMers that write blogs, but it was interesting to see that Ed Brill just went corporate. That is, Brill, who has just taken on a new sales leadership role at Lotus, has brought his personal blog into the ibm.com fold, and plans to extend it to other Lotus folks. First entry he is looking for customer feedback on case study and TCO evidence.
Next up came Sun, with Jonathan Schwartz turning his eye, and great ear for a strong argument, on to the community. Jonathan has very quickly become one of the most read blogs out there. Except for MaryMary of course, the “unashamed marketing vehicle”. There are plenty of other Sun folks to listen too–see here for the most popular.
The press seem to think Sun’s blogs are uncensored. But as is often the case things aren’t as simple as that. Sun has always been willing to tolerate a voice in the wilderness, but often its been the CEO’s!
What really stands out about Brill’s blog, and its induction into ibm.com, is that it starts with some real controvery. I am not going into the story about Radicati Group’s messaging report; its on the Lotus blog after all, but i will say this looks like information warfare. The fact IBM didn’t insist Ed start with a clean slate (and no controversy) is really a measure of the new IBM. Like Kerry shouting out foul play IBM apparently refuses to be fudded. developerWorks has some great voices too–springing up–Bob Sutor is one of the most influential voices in XML Web Services, an aggressive academic if ever i met one. Here are some more blogs hosted on developerWorks.
So IBM is marketing in real time. We like. it will be interesting to see if the Lotus blogs get neutered over time—there is some evidence other companies out there are already muzzling employees and damping down Cluetrain effects.
Blogs are likely going to permeate IBM fast, which is good. The company believes in adoption centric computing, and if the IBMers love it, customers likely will. You can bet Sam Ruby, who is leading IBM’s ATOM/RSS standards efforts, and his team are doing things like getting ready to instantiate aggregation and blog creation into Lotus Workplace on Demand. IBM after all doesn’t work on standards just for the heck of it, even if Ruby is in research.
Why not ask Ed? He’s not hard to find…
I just received an email from Volker Weber, who used to host Ed’s site. I apparently made an error in terms of blog real estate. See comments for details.