Vieux Boulogne or Durian: Can a French Software Company Blog?

This is one of those posts where I had so many metaphors going through my head as I wrote it that I’m gonna list ’em for you before I write the post because even I can’t keep ’em straight. And who wants to miss a good metaphor?

  1. Vieux Boulogne is the world’s stinkiest cheese
  2. Durian is the world’s stinkiest fruit
  3. Both smell like shit
  4. I need to demonstrate what trackbacks are to a friend
  5. If you are a big, French software company, stop trying to pretend you understand social media

OK, now back to the post.

One of my colleagues is trying his hand at blogging. He’s also trying to harness the power of social media in the PLM (product line management) space. His blog is sort of a stealth thing, to see what the community thinks of his plan. In a recent post, (metaphor #4) he takes Dassault Systemes to task for launching a blog with a license agreement — and credits me for encouraging them to blog. Chris also says that is “up and running” — though it looks like the same useless, ham-handed attempt at community it was in late 2007 (#5).

But the DS blog (#4 again) is, ahem, a stinker (metaphors #1 or #2, depending on your cultural linage, combined with #3.)

It’s the “standard” corporate blog (#5) — saying nothing, written by professional writers, devoid of personality, expectorating corporate propaganda without a point of view, destined for the dust-bin of the blogosphere….except that DS will assign 30 people to it and it will still be smelling like [pick one: durian or Vieux Boulogne] in five years (#1, #,2 and #3 — a trifecta — or for you, Chris, a hat trick).

I suspect that they got together in a big all-day meeting in Suresnes and decided that after (#4 again, plus a little #5) , they needed a “real” blog. The Internet and PR people probably liked the idea; the brands probably said nothing in the room, while heaping derision on it among themselves.

What DS got on their blog is plenty of smell…and very little else.






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