Companies and Communities at the Corvallis SAO

I spent yesterday evening in Corvallis presenting at Corvallis chapter of the Software Association of Oregon on the topic of Companies and Communities: Participating without being sleazy. I always enjoying spending time in Corvallis. It’s a fun college town with some very interesting and innovative technology companies: Strands, ViewPlus, ProWorks, and many more.

This SlideShare presentation is what I used last evening to lead the discussion:

6 thoughts on “Companies and Communities at the Corvallis SAO”

  1. Thanks for coming down last night Dawn. It was fun and super informative!

    Question: how would a huge company, like say HP in Corvallis, react if all of its employees were twittering, blogging, and generally talking to the outside world?

    It seems like everything is so secretive and closed that they would freak out. How does Microsoft seem to do it so well?

  2. Jason –

    A local Portland company – Attensa – has nailed how an enterprise client can get rss feeds from all of its company’s social networking activities.


  3. cstar – I’m a big fan of Dr. Seuss πŸ™‚


    Many big companies struggle with social media, since it breaks down the wall between the company and the outside world. Most companies have a set of people who are “official spokespeople” and can speak on behalf of the company to the press, media, and others outside of the company.

    I think that companies, like HP, can maintain this by asking people to be clear about whether or not their comment or post is an official statement. On my personal blog, I always had a disclaimer that the opinions expressed in this blog are mine alone and not necessarily those of my employer. I also think it is just fine to leave a comment with a similar disclaimer about how you are not an official spokesperson and are providing only an opinion. I would also encourage official spokespeople to be clear when they are talking on behalf of their company.

    In the end it also comes down to trusting your employees to do the right thing. Give them tools, training, and some guidelines about maintaining confidentiality. If the company is hiring people who cannot be trusted, then the company has a bigger problem to deal with.

  4. Seems like it requires the company to give up control over its “message” a little. The Intel incident you brought up last night is a perfect example.

  5. Jason,

    I actually think that companies *had* more control over their messages (in the past); however, in today’s world of social media, this control is mostly an illusion. Companies can continue to fight it, or they can embrace social media and benefit from it πŸ™‚

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