≡ Menu

The future of marketing communications?

David Spark

In what has got to be one of the more interesting experiments in social media, Microsoft has hired journalist David Spark to edit a “whitepaper” on hosted messaging services.  The twist?  Microsoft’s whitepaper has taken the form of a wiki, with Spark as the administrator.  The text, as it stands now, is opinionated and biased.  What form will it take when the IT community has had an opportunity to edit it?

It’s a fascinating idea.  Rather than develop a top-down messaging architecture, focus group it to death, and write a final document, why not just ask the eventual readers of the document to write it themselves?  Is this the future of marcomms? 

{ 4 comments… add one }

  • Zachary Houle January 22, 2007, 7:45 am

    Perhaps. I also think there’ll be a need to have someone guide that conversation, lest things develop into anarchy. I don’t think this is a substitute from strong messaging and leadership, either, but I also do think this is a great idea, so long as there’s someone there to hold all of the divergent opinions together. Too many cooks can spoil the broth and all that.

  • Rene Ylanan January 22, 2007, 11:23 pm

    They already have someone to guide the talks – it just remains to be seen whether this person can keep his ideas independent from those of his employer. Also, knowing who is behind it all, would the IT community really jump in and start contributing to their effort?

  • Chris Peterson January 23, 2007, 1:38 pm

    I run the agency that put this work up for Microsoft and our intent was to be very authentic and open, which is why David manages the site and executes posts with full disclosure. In the end, we want the market to help shape how Microsoft talks about itself with regard to this particular division. This is actually our entire focus as an agency (not wikis, but using content and conversations). We believe that the age of forcing decisions with messages is dead and that you now have to fuel decisions with real, authentic, credible content. This also requires very different skill sets. It's not about having a creative director, it's about having someone like David Spark help manage content that is driven by the market. Of course, I'm very interested in everyone's reaction to this as we do believe this is the future of marketing communications (at least a piece of it). But its ultimate form will take time to evolve.

  • Howard May 30, 2008, 2:21 pm

    " I’ll go out on a limb even more that I think Hosted email is going to creep into the small business market space more and more…."

    Your words were prophetic. We are a SOHO and rely heavily on our Hosted Exchange from 123Together (http://www.123together.com). It is now unthinkable that we would buy a server – outsourcing our critical email is the way to go.

Leave a Comment