Blogging, to me, is about honesty, openness, real-ness, and authenticity—in other words, all the stuff that corporations try to “manage.” I found this out first hand when I left the comfortable world of journalism (BusinessWeek) to join the corporate ranks in the early 1990s. Bear with me on this first posting, and you’ll see why I love the new Age of the Blog.
I’d been at Intel a couple of years when a partner and I
began doing community workshops at local schools, teaching parents how to buy
and use a computer. We used a lot of humor and gimmicks like contests, and
dubbed ourselves the “PC Dads,” two dads on a mission to help overwhelmed parents through
the technology wilderness. There were plenty of them, too, in these
Then we got a crazy idea: Why not get Intel to fund a family education program? People dismissed or laughed at us for the first few months, then we got a break: Dennis Carter (who spearheaded the original Intel Inside program) gave us funding and the green light to take our show on the road.
We published a book on family computing through Dell Publishing (Random House) and even launched a syndicated newspaper column through Tribune Media. We were regulars on CNN, and hosted our own (“Down Home Computing”) radio show in Hillsboro, Or
Intel even branded us, the company’s first “human brand.”
But truth and marketing departments don’t always mix, and by 2000, Intel didn’t know what to do with us. While we had widespread support across the employee ranks, some senior PR types complained we'd gone too far with the authentic part--and who needed two middle aged guys representing Intel anyhow? Now that Carter was gone, the program was fair game. The tech downturn didn’t help either. By 2001 the program was history and I was on my way out, my job eliminated.
The jury is still out on where this is going. But I'm feeling better
about it with every new blog I discover. The amount of energy, passion
and creativity going into these endeavors is stunning.
And the journey is just beginning.