Here’s his quick case study of Plaxo, which is an on-line smart address book. It lets users of Plaxo update their address book automatically instead of having to gather business cards.
Concerns have been privacy, security and that they used to send lots of e-mails. They allayed the first two relatively easily, but the third was harder: a perception problem among people who have been on the receiving end of their e-mails. They started a blog, but it wasn’t a silver bullet. They needed to get employees blogging so people knew there were real people behind the company, and then also started communicating with bloggers directly via e-mail, at events and through the blogosphere.
He told his story of being fired from Google for blogging. He had only been at the company for 11 days. At Google there was secrecy built into the corporate culture, but they didn’t want to be transparent. Google had originally caused his blog to go dark, which led to some controversy, but when they fired him it led to a huge PR hit traffic (and monster traffic to his blog).
At Plaxo the policy is pretty straightforward.