Sunday, June 26, 2005

It's not just about YOUR blogs...
by Ron Lichty

Hmmm. In envisioning the July 27 Community/Collaboration event, I left out an entire aspect to organizations engaging with this stuff.

I was focused on the blogs, wikis, message boards, RSS, etc. that organizations will, of necessity, implement in the coming five years.

What I skipped was the necessity for organizations to connect with their constituents (customers, members, citizens, etc.) who are writing about them in online communities other people created.

Once again, Lee LeFever's blog has come to my rescue, pointing me, this time, to the Church of the Customer.

This entry cites examples of Continental Airlines CEO Lawrence Kellen being responsive to the FlyerTalk online community for frequent flyers; and Starwood Hotels being responsive on this and other internet discussion boards, by assigning an employee known as the "Starwood Lurker" to solve customer problems with its frequent traveler programs and build customer loyalty. See this earlier blog entry to get a sense of the Starwood Lurker's impact.

I'm not sure there's room in the event to shoehorn in this aspect to things. But we should be cognizant of it, as we discuss how we architected community and collaboration solutions on our own sites that delivered dramatic results.


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