What do you want from a vendor blog?
What information do you want to see in a vendor blog?
I noticed that Vizioncore have started a new company blog at http://vizioncorum.com/.
There were three entries on the home page which I read to get a feel for what they were going to do with this messaging to the world. Have they got it and should I come back was my thinking.
First a post by Scott Herold on PowerShell. This was a great post that took a topic and added some good insight. It told me what Vizioncore were doing in the space and why the topic linked with them. There was a statement about why I would be interested in coming back and hearing more (tips and tricks are coming) and it finished with some useful links. Spot on Scott, that post was worth my time in visiting a vendor site.
Second was a post on Cloud by David Feathergill, Chief Software Architect at Vizioncore. Being a Cloud nut I was expecting to see some insights on Cloud from the Vizioncore perspective. What is presented is a 101 on Cloud you could read at any old site with the closure of "I hope that this has helped to understand cloud computing and see how virtualization is an enabler for it." No value add, no insight on Vizioncore and what they are doing. Missed the mark.
Third was a post by Thomas Bryant. I am biased here as I have met Tom a few times and he is one great guy who knows his VMware stuff. Toms post was on capacity planning and it certainly gets a tick for some good insight. Did not do a lot about telling me what Vizioncore is doing for capacity management tools that don't use simple models. Good post.
So if we were to do a score I think a 6 out of 10. Is that going to make me add this site into my RSS feed, probably not, but I suspect most will just in case there is some good stuff coming based on their existing brand. However unless the interesting stuff does not start coming I suspect people will drop it.
Is this really a vendor blog though? If you look carefully Vizioncorum is "a Blog Community Dedicated to Virtualization Professionals" which is sponsored by Vizioncore. Given that every single panelist/contributor is a senior Vizioncore employee it certainly looks like a Vendor site. Its certainly the impression you get when you visit.
So why rave on about this stuff. Vendors are trying to get eyeballs of all of us people, the time to get those eyes is at launch time. With so much blog reading to keep up with these days people are going to get more and more selective. Sure new people are coming in to this community all the time and they will stumble across stuff; however its the existing community you want to excite and if they love and talk about your content others will pick it up, including new people coming in.
It goes both ways though. We as readers also need to give feedback and comment to the vendor blogs. Engage with the authors, post comments, tell them what we want.
After all what we as specialist in the virtualisation space want is relevant and clear information that helps us understand the vendors products and their stance and position in the changing market. Those that get it right will get those valuable eyeballs they all seek.
P.S. Go on you can now hammer me in my own comments. Just remember I am not a vendor, and its called "Musings" for a reason. :)
Update : Opps, I just noticed that James Kahn a SE from Vizioncore Australia wrote an earlier article. The article met the mark, talked about the problem, how its changed and then linked to a best practice paper on the relevant Vizioncore product. Good one James. Disclaimer I have worked with James in his current role so again I am biased.