Thursday, December 08, 2005

Now Telstra is blogging

As reported by Whirlpool, ZDNet and the Australian, Telstra has announced that it has entered the blogosphere with nowwearetalking. Phil Burgess, one of the "three amigos" parachuted in as part of Telstra's all-new all-Seppo management team, explains how it came about. He starts off by saying the site came about from a discussion he had with a Telstra shareholder, which apparently he had recorded secretly since the transcript he relates to us runs to over 200 words of beautiful pro-Telstra rhetoric. Perhaps Phil should use that eidetic memory of his to become a journalist, if he can remember that much dialogue with perfect clarity. Or maybe a PR person made up this character...? Nah, that's too cynical. Surely you wouldn't have lied to us in your very first blog entry, Phil! Say it ain't so!

After that dubious beginning, other Telstra bloggers pooh-pooh Skype, remind us about the value of fixed-line phones, tell farmers they don't need broadband, argue for a 52% increase in directors' fees, remind us again of the value of fixed-line phones, explore the wonders of hiring minimum-wage teenagers, dampen Australian wi-fi expectations, and portray Telstra's CEO Sol Trujillo as being boiled alive by regulators and competitors.

Let me see now, what sort of bloggers would benefit Telstra's customers? Maybe a blogger who is in charge of customer service. Maybe one from the faults department. Maybe one from the billing side. Nope, it's all about puffing up Telstra's internal corporate objectives of kicking the ACCC and bullying the government into lifting the brakes on its monopoly.

If any further evidence was needed about Telstra not getting blogging, it is the guideline that comments have to wait ONE TO TWO DAYS for moderation. Also, there are no trackbacks and no links to the commenters' own blogs. Contrast this approach to Microsoft or Google or even IBM. Who does Telstra think it's kidding? Oh, that's right - its shareholders.

Update: Mark Jones points out the lack of RSS feeds.


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