Does Cisco Really Need 13,000 Bloggers?
When Cisco Systems announced financial results May 6, The Wall Street Journal noted that the networking giant now has 13,000 bloggers. That's incredibly impressive -- or is it a waste of time and energy? Here are some thoughts from The VAR Guy.
When Cisco Systems announced financial results May 6, The Wall Street Journal noted that the networking giant now has 13,000 bloggers. That’s incredibly impressive — or is it a waste of time and energy? Here are some thoughts from The VAR Guy.
First, the upside: Cisco has been a Web 2.0 leader in many ways — leveraging YouTube videos, corporate blogs, Twitter and other tools to help engage and educate customers and partners.
Among The VAR Guy’s favorite Cisco-produced destinations:
- The Platform, Cisco’s primary corporate blog center.
- SP360, Cisco’s service provider blog.
- Channels, the company’s new channel blog. Actually, the jury is out on this blog because it just launched this week. Will it succeed? Too soon to say, but The VAR Guy is watching.
And yes, The VAR Guy tracks a few Cisco personalities on Twitter. Sorry, he’s not naming names because he doesn’t want to kiss up to the networking giant any more than usual.
Now, back to the central question at hand: How the heck do 13,000 Cisco employees find time to blog? And more importantly: Don’t those 13,000 Cisco employees have better things to do with their time?
Alas, The VAR Guy doesn’t have time to track down and explore all 13,000 blog destinations and/or blogger names. A year or two from now, The VAR Guy suspects Cisco’s blogger ranks will have fallen dramatically. Much like Twitter and Facebook, blogging is fun for a few days … but then most casual bloggers discover (A) they have nothing more to say or (B) they actually have to get some work done.
Assuming The Wall Street Journal’s report was correct, and Cisco really does 13,000 bloggers, The VAR Guy thinks it might be time to pull the plug on a few of those writers, and get them focused 110 percent on customer and partner issues.
Of course, the 13,000 blogger comment may be somewhat of an exaggeration — an attempt by Cisco to brag about its Web 2.0 strategy even if the vast majority of those bloggers spend very little time blogging. Ultimately, The VAR Guy thinks Cisco should have kept the 13,000 figure private. Instead, let quality blog content like the entries on SP360 earn the attention.