Leading international carriers including Global Crossing, BT and Verizon Business are launching blogs to foster an informal and unvarnished dialogue with corporate customers about technology and regulatory trends.
Global Crossing's blog has been operational since March, and it now receives 500 visitors a day on average. Questions and comments have been posted by corporate IT executives, university professors, product managers from other companies and other technologists.
"Our blogs offer a more informal, open and spontaneous dialogue. This is in real time," says Anthony Christie, chief marketing officer at Global Crossing.
"If you ask our bloggers about how our product stacks up against company X, they'll be brutally honest about where things make sense and where they don't."
Global Crossing has five long-time employees including network engineers, network architects and government affairs executives who share their insights via blogs. These employees are some of Global Crossing's "brightest technical minds," according to Christie.
These employees submit blogs on emerging technologies such as IPv6, VoIP peering and IP video as well as policy issues such as 'Net neutrality. The blogs reflect the opinions of the authors and are not reviewed or edited by Global Crossing's marketing staff. The blogs are updated daily.
"Once customers understand that they can get unfettered access, unfiltered access to great IP minds...they will build up a peer-to-peer type of rapport," says Christie, who adds that he hopes the blogs will bolster the carrier's reputation among technologists.
Global Crossing says traffic on its corporate blog site is growing 30% per month. Global Crossing plans to add more bloggers in 2007 to cover issues and trends in Europe and Asia.
Similarly, BT launched its Business Blog in August. The blog covers such issues as setting up corporate blogs, Web site accessibility and network security.
Verizon Business in October launched a blog about technology and telecommunications policy that features nine bloggers from the company's media relations, corporate communications and policy departments. Recent topics of discussion include government Wi-Fi initiatives, WiMAX and cable choice initiatives.
With their new blogs, carriers are following in the footsteps of other IT vendors including Sun, Microsoft and Oracle who have employees that blog frankly about their companies' products and services.
"We looked at the best practices in blogging...and we adopted them," says Christie, who adds that "authenticity, ethics and integrity" are key for corporate blogs.