Blogs open doors for developers. Business software developers are learning what game makers have long known: Using Web logs and online tools to gather feedback can help strengthen products–and pull in customers. By David Becker, Staff Writer, CNET News.com.
To me, this is just intuitively obvious. I’ve been online since the mid-1980’s beginning with the old BBS world, and later FIDO bulletin boards, Compuserve, and the early AOL. The formation of virtual communities in (what we called then) cyberspace, was one of the most exhilarating phases of the early internet. One of my jobs in 1994 was to use these networks as an ad-hoc marketing vehicle for Windows 95 (then called Chicago), and to build grassroots customer support for the product. At one point, I ran the largest opt-in mailing list on the web, with nearly 900,000 subscribers, for the purposes of telling people nothing more than the latest info on what we were building in the Chicago project. As a customer relations and marketing tool, an interactive online presence (as opposed to a web page, which more often than not is just a digital glossy brochure), beats everything else hands down.