Transparency – and a phone number

I was having a chat in the pub after the UC User group on Thursday night and the conversation got around to blogging and why so many Microsoftie’s blogged.  Everyone I chatted to was really positive about the access to the “inside view” of Microsoft that bloggers gave them.  They were particularly complimentary about the fact that we presented the human face of Microsoft, were transparent, accessible, approachable, and always responded to the comments on our blogs.

In the UK we’ve had the team contact email addresses on the TechNet site for some time, it gives us the opportunity to be contactable at any time, so I’ve asked my team if they wanted to follow my lead and put their cell phone number on their blogs too (mine is on the left hand side of my blog home page).  The thing that I’ve been really impressed about is how having this number on my blog has changed the tone of conversations to me.  The calls I’ve received have been really positive about the fact that I’m available for anyone to call, and whilst I’ve not always been able to give an instant answer to the questions I’ve been asked, I’m a point of contact and escalation if needed.  Robert was always really proud of the fact that he could display his cellphone number on his blog in the knowledge that this wouldn’t be abused, and he would accessible when needed.  Well I’m following his advice and so far – it feels rather good to be accessible……