Everyone has heard about the People-Ready controversy by now. John Battelle, sitting at the center of the storm, takes up the issue and sounds a defiant note: “But to sum up, I refuse to declare conversational marketing a bad idea because of one storm.”
I think that there’s an elephant in this room: namely, that the Microsoft People-Ready marketing campaign is paralyzingly stupid and lame. Thus, a bunch of allegedly-intelligent allegedly-leading voices of the blogosphere suddenly singing in the chorus totally fails to pass the sniff test; in fact, it stinks to high heaven. There are marketing campaigns that could—in fact there are campaigns that have—raised a chorus of blog voices in admiration and support. But while Microsoft has many strengths, they have not in recent years included marketing or messaging.
So, while I think the storm that broke out, and the consequences, were inevitable and appropriate, I also wonder whether it would have blown so high had the campaign been something intelligent, say Apple arguing things should Just Work or we at Sun arguing that servers should have a smaller carbon footprint.
But then, I’m paranoid and cynical.