Intel Blogging

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. Itโ€™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.

18 Replies to “Intel Blogging”

  1. Great suggestions – thanks for sharing them. I, too, am impressed with the design of the site (which I didn’t have anything to do with), and I’d love to see a wider audience of people writing on the blogs. The idea is to grow it into more topical areas, and maybe one day, even allow employees to blog externally (gasp!) at ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Fine review from Robyn and good to hear from Josh. Thanks, Robyn, for getting the Fortune 500 Blog Project really rollin’ with this, the first review not by moi :).

    I’m curious to learn more about Intel’s other blogs, if they have any, and how this one may relate to them. Also, is Josh’s blog an Intel corporate blog or not? I’m a longtime fan of it too – I would say it’s personal, not corporate – but that it does help Intel somewhat in the way that an “official” corporate blog can.

  3. Actually this Intel IT blog is not all-male, though with only five people the statistics of the profession, alas, would not make that implausible. You missed noticing Dr. Eleanor Wynn, and she is certainly not there “to satisfy the readerโ€™s sensibilities”. Eleanor is an accomplished anthropologist – an unusual role in an IT group – and has a fascinating subject to cover…

  4. My blog is both personal and “corporate”, in the same way Scoble’s was for Microsoft. It’s not hosted or paid for by Intel – it belongs to me – but I talk about Intel, the same way Scoble talked about Microsoft (and now, PodTech).

    I’ve got plans for a whole lot more Intel-related posts coming up, once life gets a little bit closer to normal, after a new baby, my wife having surgery, etc. So stay tuned! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. I read about your wife’s surgery, though I missed the new baby post. I hope your wife is doing well and congrats on the baby (I have 4 little ones). Life is surely different w/kids.

    I’ll be sure to note that your blog is an a private blog that happens to be written by an Intel employee and contains Intel news and commentary, but is not a corporate soapbox by any means ๐Ÿ™‚

    Take care.

  6. Hi Robyn,
    You’re right – I see Eleanor is not listed in the “About the bloggers” page; but she definitely has a post on the blog itself, tagged “socialnetworks”. I will see abut fixing the omission.

  7. Hello! Help solve the problem.
    Very often try to enter the site, but says that the password is not correct.
    Regrettably use of remembering. Give like to be?
    Thank you!

  8. Hi, thanks for the mention and also thanks to Nathan for that. I agree about the diversity thing. I think Laurie Buczek is also blogging on IT@Intel now. I wish I could find the right balance between tendentious academic and silliness, that’s the challenge. Jeff Moriarty is an example to us all. I used the purse PC to try and add some less all-white all-male content. My next post will be about “geeky girls”. Any links would be most welcome. We say we want to encourage women in engineering but we have to make it cool during the formative years to get that start! I saw a young woman at the NECSI (New England Conference on Complex Systems) a year ago with orange hair and binary code tattooed anklets. Where is there more of that stuff?

  9. Wow, I had not Googled myself in a while and there has been an explosion. Including a published paper that was mangled by the original “typesetter” in 1987. Any ideas how to get that thing off my record?

    Meanwhile, I noticed this on your comments from last year.

    ???? ??????!!!

    …I can read that typography as the poster asks, but alas cannot type it. So sorry we cannot encourage this cyrillic writer.

  10. Ha ha. I know what you mean. There are a few things in Google I wish I could edit (incorrect info). As far as I know, other than contacting the site’s host and asking them to edit it, that’s all we can do. Bummer!

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