Musing about outsides and insides

In a post headed Tara and the Blue Monster, Hugh discusses Tara Hunt’s comments on Microsoft’s adoption of the Blue Monster; Tara’s scepticism is something that is shared by many, and she makes a key point:

… it isn’t as simple as GM keeping Tahoe-bashing ads up on their site longer or Microsoft using a cool Hugh Macleod cartoon on their conference materials.

Subversion isn’t a marketing tool. It’s a path to change. We can’t lose sight of that.

If I’ve interpreted her correctly, she also alludes to another, equally important point: People want Microsoft to change. That is the essence of what made the Blue Monster such a hit, it was a way of people outside Microsoft telling people in Microsoft of the intense need for change, a  point that Hugh makes eloquently. [Disclosure: I have one of the first Blue Monster lithographs, and count both Hugh as well as Tara amongst my friends].

Hugh also refers to the effect that Scoble had within Microsoft:

I am reminded of a big A-HA! moment I had a few years ago when I first realized that the REAL story about Robert Scoble’s blog [when he was still working at Microsoft] was not about how it was changing external perceptions about Microsoft [“Oh, what a lovely blog. I think I’ll stop hating Microsoft from now on.”], but how it was stirring things up inside the company.

I think it’s more than that. When a company achieves critical mass in terms of “external” bloggers, there is no longer an inside or an outside. Blogs do not support hierarchies or vertical silos, they tend to be lateral and networked and and all-over-the-place. Blogs are not respecters of walls, whether inside the firm or at the firm’s boundaries.

Not having an inside or an outside. That’s how tomorrow’s customers will figure which of today’s companies to bless. 

4 thoughts on “Musing about outsides and insides”

  1. I agree with your closing sentiments wholeheartedly here JP. There is no inside or outside and Blue Monster is a great example of that. It started off as an email Hugh sent to 4 people and it’s grown from there both internally and externally. To those who think it’s contrived all I can say is “it isn’t”. In fact I keep wondering when the brand police are going to call me or when I’m going to get the “wtf are you doin Clayton” email. So far so good and I think it’s actually too late for anyone to stop this train now but it’s also important that the drivers are not the suits and are not just internal. This is about the power of the community and the employees trying to change something.

  2. This is not about Microsoft per se, but I am intrigued by something Steve says here. It’s to do with the brand police. Sometimes I think that such inertial forces, seemingly common in large enterprises, are actually figments of our imagination. Fed by our fears and insecurities.

    The reason I think this is the number of times they seem yo disappear when people actually DO something rather than TALK about doing something.

    Maybe we keep pushing at doors marked pull. Just a thought.

  3. You are right. There are people who want MS to change, but then again, there are those who fear it and those who enjoy the status quo, b/c it’s easy.

    I think you’ll like the motto of my blog:
    Change the way Microsoft and our partners do marketing…or Get Fired Tryin’

Let me know what you think

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