I just read Stuart Henshall's BlogOn conference posting. The conference was all about blogging and held in July in Berkeley California. His comments about Microsoft’s Channel9 are particularly interesting.
Microsoft & Channel9 One of the things I like to get out of a conference is case studies. One I've not paid enough attention to over the last few months is the action at Channel9. MS appears to be doing an exemplary job at engaging customers in new conversations. The result is Microsoft is learning faster as an organization. It may seem obvious, but companies get trapped. It becomes difficult to scale a message to the all the groups that depend on your platform.
Currently Channel 9 has 700000 unique users per month of which 8000 are participating in the registration required forums. I think there are great lessons here for how the organization can balance an open approach, with listening for honest feedback. Video interviews are a key component that is making this successful. Take a look. Note they said it only took 2-3 weeks to get this up and running.
Mmm... Microsoft appears to be really pushing the envelope with how to build websites that start online conversations with customers. Check out my exchange with Todd Bishop at the Seattle PI on this issue.