Microsoft Won’t Blog Stupidly

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David Weller, the Community Manager at Microsoft’s Game Technology Group, took issue with a post penned by Penny Arcade that derided Microsoft’s blogging practices.

Microsoft Won't Blog Stupidly
Microsoft Won’t Blog Stupidly

There’s only so far a company blogger can go with being open about his employer. The observing public wants all the inside dirt they can get, the blogger may want to give it to them, the PR and legal departments want limits to be observed.

Such positions pull in opposite directions. Jerry "Tycho" Holkins called out Microsoft blogging on his Penny Arcade newspost:

As for their blogger phalanx which encircles the web, their position as explicit partisans dilutes their message automatically. Unless you are searching for quantifiable facts like release dates or raw platform orthodoxy, their editorial content is understood to emanate from that circle of cursed megaliths in Redmond.

It always seemed implicitly understood that unless the company did something very public and very stupid, corporate blogspeak would always hold back at least a little bit. We certainly don’t want to read sycophanting, fawning adulation of a business, but how appealing would an official blog be if it continually ripped the company for every real or perceived sin?

Ok, fine, lots of people would. But it wouldn’t be any more informative or useful than an adoring blog of platitudes, either.

Weller acknowledged that the "blogging mindset" hasn’t taken hold in his division as it has with other parts of Microsoft. Also, blogging has some sharp unfriendly edges, as he cited desires not to get fired or needlessly create messes that others have to fix. His co-workers may share that sentiment.

That hasn’t kept Microsoft from being a much more active and transparent blogging firm than some others. "Compare us to Nintendo, Sony, Apple, or Google. We win in transparency, hands down, but we seem to be held to a higher standard," said Weller.

Microsoft’s blogging may not suit everyone. Their approach seems to make sense, though. No approach will please everyone, so finding a compromise is the only way to get any blogging accomplished.

Microsoft Won’t Blog Stupidly
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