Friday, December 9, 2005

Telstra has begun corporate blogs

Telstra is a large telecommunications company in Australia. I guess it's the Australian equivalent to what AT&T used to be in the U.S. Anyway, they've joined the ranks of companies that are blogging.

The web site is here: http://www.nowwearetalking.com.au/ ... sigh, what a goofy name ... but then the goofy name just matches the goofy web site.

On the web site they promise "We want you to have a say in Australia's telecommunications future. This site is about giving you information and letting you tell us, and others, exactly what you think..."

That's a nice goal, but I hardly think they're accomplishing it. That's because the site looks like it was created by the marketing department. The main clue to this is on the list of blogs. For a company which ought to be employing 10's of thousands of people, they can only sponsor 11 blogs?

Another tweaky thing is in their discussion guidelines they say they're interested in an open dialog, but there are moderators on hand to delete postings. The moderators will do much more than delete postings, but they're free to edit postings, rename postings, cut postings into pieces, etc. Obviously they're trying to avoid SPAM and flamewars, and I don't blame them. At the same time the rules allow them to be big brother and only to skew the topics and discussion into directions their agenda says it should go.

It appears to be a new site. It looks pretty, but I think pretty looks doesn't guarantee success for a site. What I've always noted about online community is it needs enough people to form a critical mass. Once the critical mass threshold is reached, there's enough inertia to keep the discussion going. Less than the threshold and the discussion will eventually die. More than the threshold and you just have noise. It appears to me this site is well below critical mass. This is especially true as there are no RSS feeds to be found -- having RSS feeds brings people back to the site.

For a telecomm company to make such a thumb-fingered blunderous site as this is astonishing.