Some vendor blogs lead the way

Some vendors show how blogs should be done, including those from HP, Intel, Oracle and Sun.

HP has dozens of blogs, conveniently divided into categories such as "servers," "mobility and wireless" and "research." Richard Fichera, a blogger on server blades, likes to criticize rival IBM, but isn't afraid to admit HP hasn't come close to solving the problem of power and cooling. "Even the most sophisticated solutions, such as HP's new Dynamic Smart Cooling, still are only biting around the edge of the problem," he says.

Scorecard:

1. Is the blog site easy to find from the company's home page? YES

2. Are bloggers identified human beings who are not in public relations? YES

3. Number of blogs: DOZENS

4. Is IT product information useful, or mostly just public relations? MIXED BAG

5. Is there high-level discussion of issues important to IT executives? YES

6. How often are blogs updated? WEEKLY

7. Is feedback accepted and displayed? YES

8. Do bloggers reply to feedback in a timely manner? YES

9. Are there links to outside sites? YES

10. Can you subscribe? YES

Intel

Intel's bloggers focus on high-level IT strategy and provide updates on new chip research. And they aren't afraid to admit mistakes. On July 31, Intel used its blog to apologize for an advertisement that struck some observers as racist. (The ad depicted six black sprinters bowing down in front of a white man.)

Intel blogger Nick Knupffer even linked to an outside site that said an Intel chipset and its graphics "blow chunks." Knupffer detailed the problem and explained how Intel has gone about improving the chip's graphics.

Scorecard:

1. Is the blog site easy to find from the company's home page? YES

2. Are bloggers identified human beings who are not in public relations? YES

3. Number of blogs: 20 (SIX IN ENGLISH)

4. Is IT product information useful, or mostly just public relations? MIXED BAG

5. Is there high-level discussion of issues important to IT executives?  YES

6. How often are blogs updated? DAILY

7. Is feedback accepted and displayed? YES

8. Do bloggers reply to feedback in a timely manner? YES

9. Are there links to outside sites? YES

10. Can you subscribe? YES

Oracle

Oracle's blog page provides a huge amount of content and does a good job organizing it all. On the blog home page you can choose from bloggers in many categories, from applications and business intelligence to database management and Java tools. On the right side you get a list of the most recent posts from all blogs.

In an unusual move, Oracle links to dozens of blogs written about Oracle by nonemployees and invites people to submit links to their blogs if they haven't been listed by Oracle yet.

Scorecard:

1. Is the blog site easy to find from the company's home page? YES

2. Are bloggers identified human beings who are not in public relations? YES

3. Number of blogs: DOZENS

4. Is IT product information useful, or mostly just public relations? MIXED BAG

5. Is there high-level discussion of issues important to IT executives? YES

6. How often are blogs updated? DAILY

7. Is feedback accepted and displayed? YES

8. Do bloggers reply to feedback in a timely manner? SOMETIMES

9. Are there links to outside sites? YES

10. Can you subscribe? YES

Sun

You'll be hard-pressed to find a blog updated more often than this one. Sun makes its blog space accessible "to any Sun employee to write about anything," and they gladly accept the invitation. Scroll through recent posts, and you're likely to see multiple new posts per hour. CEO Jonathan Schwartz keeps things rolling with discussions on OpenOffice.org and Sun's use of Second Life.


Sun's Schwartz stands out among vendor CEOs


Scorecard:

1. Is the blog site easy to find from the company's home page? YES

2. Are bloggers identified human beings who are not in public relations? YES

3. Number of blogs: DOZENS

4. Is IT product information useful, or mostly just public relations? USEFUL

5. Is there high-level discussion of issues important to IT executives? YES

6. How often are blogs updated? HOURLY

7. Is feedback accepted and displayed? YES

8. Do bloggers reply to feedback in a timely manner? YES

9. Are there links to outside sites? YES

10. Can you subscribe? YES


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