I’ve been following with some interest the addition of an official corporate blog for Intel. As a long-time time reader of Josh Bancroft’s Tiny Screenfuls, I was glad to see the team on this blog is creating something just as informal and personal as what he’s doing there (well, almost).
First off, I want to talk about their intelligent design.
1. The more tag is beautifully thought out.
I don’t use the more tag as much as I should, but they’ve perfected it’s use. They’ve placed a target link so that when you click on more, you are taken to exactly where you were just reading. No scrolling up or down to get back to your place in the post.
2. Flash titles that break down well.
A hallmark of smart design is, yes, using flash and such in your blog as great eye-candy, but also making sure that users who don’t have flash capabilities aren’t adversely affected. Flash-capable readers will get a pretty font, regardless of whether or not they have the font on their system. Users who don’t support flash will be given standard text titles.
These little details will never be noticed by the large majority of blog readers, but those nerds who make the IT decisions in firms are sure to appreciate this level of attention to detail.
Now, give your attention to the team members chosen to blog here. Note that one of them is known for speaking ‘oh-so-frankly’ on more than one occasion. Here he talks of how Intel is often perceived:
Intel is truly an amazing company, but we often (usually?) come across as a bunch of egotistical, lecturing, pompous jerks. It’s bizarre trying to reconcile the incredible people I know are inside our walls with the crazy way we appear to the world. We pronounce, not discuss. We lecture, not share. We dictate, not lead.
Along with maverick, Jeff Moriarty, you’ll find Martin Curley, Marty Menard, Nathan Zeldes and Davis Sward. Of the 5, 2 have been with Intel since the 80s and 2 are published authors. Their bios are actually fascinating. The fact that they are writing a team blog seems to be a negative factor to some, but for the most part I’m happy to see a team blog. Any of these Intel geeks would have been a fine blog author, but together they’ll present a balanced look at Intel.
And, with team blogs, the success doesn’t hinge on the personality of one person (who could die or get canned). Plus, these guys don’t bear the responsibility of maintaining the blog alone. A one person blog can’t produce this much thoughtful content, especially as it appears these guys won’t have official duties of blogging, but will bear these responsibilities outside of their normal workload.
My main suggestion would be to, at some point, see if there’s at least one minority you could add to the mix. No one wants to be the token minority (black, female, asian, whatever), but Intel’s not all white-male and at some point they’ll want to make sure the blog is a little more representative of their employees. However, I’d rather see it all white/male than to see someone who is merely there to satisfy reader’s sensibilities. I’d just keep my eye out for someone within Intel who’d be able to take part, even as a guest author now and then, to prevent the stereotypical ‘white IT guy’ feel that the blog communicates.
Take a look at Intel’s corporate blog and give them some feedback.
UPDATE: They’ve added a smart woman to the mix now. Check out Eleanor Wynn at Intel’s IT blog.