Over at MobHappy, Carlo Longino relays an excellent case study in why companies need to "be sincere in their communications with blogs," and what can happen when they're dishonest. Earlier this week, Carlo posted some critical comments about a mobile software platform called bluepulse, by Bluepulse Pty. Ltd. Among other things, Carlo said the company's claim that their software would work on "any device, any carrier" was dubious. A representative named Alan from Bluepulse followed up with his own comment, denying that they had ever made such a claim. So Carlo pointed to Bluepuls's Web site, where the following appeared in big blue type: "Your content and applications, on any phone, anywhere…" Well, it used to say that anyway. From Carlo's post:
…Another guy, "Luke", who lists his web site as http://www.bluepulse.com, so we'll presume he's an employee too (particularly since he posted from the same IP address as Alan), comes back a couple days later to say that I've left out a key word, that the quote is actually "Your content and applications, on almost any phone, anywhere…" Click on the link to the relevant page, and yes, it says that… now.
You see, the good folks at Bluepulse have gone back and changed the page, then it would appear that one of them couldn't resist coming back to the site and pointing out my "error". The problem – for them – is that they didn't think about the good old Google cache, as you can see in the screengrab…
So instead of saying "hey, that's some aggressive marketing copy, we'll tone it down a bit", they change it, then come back here in an attempt (I guess) to try to impugn my integrity, or, at the very least, make me look foolish. Funny how things like that can backfire. So there's a lesson here in
honesty for companies on the web. Well, that, or at least be smart enough to cover your tracks.
UPDATE: Alan Jones of Bluepulse has posted a lengthy apology in the comments of Carlo's "Case Study" post, writing that Luke "made an important error of judgement in pretending the text was never changed." From Alan's comment:
This incident certainly does highlight some of the important issues in the role of blogs as media, and in workplace environments where employees are encouraged to communicate with the outside world through their own blogs and those of others, rather than through an all-controlling PR manager. I don't think anybody reading these comments really wants us to react to this event by banning employees from communicating in blogs – in return I hope you can understand that not every bluepulse employee's comment is an official company statement.