Comcast is deep into a blogwar (I’ve commented frequently here about the clear and present danger of blogwars to corporate and organizational reputations so review past posts here for my views on that topic–or read my book Now Is Too Late2).
This article from Bulldog Reporter about the blogwar suggests something even more frightening to me–not that I have any great love and affection for Comcast broadband as an only moderately satisfied customer myself. (the blog is called somewhat predictably: comcastmustdie.com and the first words are I really don’t want Comcast to die(!)) What frightens me from a crisis management standpoint is a potential pattern I see developing. The blogger starting this is not some unemployed 28 year old sitting in his bedroom, cranky after a night of partying. This one was started by Bob Garfield, a highly respected writer and expert in advertising and marketing. I’ve read his stuff for years.
Note the reference in the article to Jeff Jarvis, the now extremely famous blogger who launched the Dell Hell blogwar and was at first ignored, then triumphed with significant improvements in Dell’s customer service. So, bright, entreprenuerial writers like Garfield who know the weakspots of corporate leadership, can accomplish two things at once. They can build an tremendous audience and their own celebrity by becoming the next Jeff Jarvis and get the self-actualization satisfaction that they can change the world for the good by getting Comcast to respond. Wow, that is powerful motivation. Hey, I want that attention. I want that readership. I want to go to the grave thinking I have done the world some good. I should start a blog: younamethecompanymustdie.com. I will be a hero. People will know my name. they will talk about me in the hushed tones they now reserve for Jeff Jarvis. Am I judging Garfield’s motives here? Yeh. Am I wrong? Who knows.
Do you see why this scares me? On the other hand, being a crisis management expert might be the best gig to get into these days.