Seattle weblogger meetup is Wednesday night. I'll be there.
SearchWin2000: For Microsoft image isn't everything (but it helps).
Ahh, the customer satisfaction numbers. Let's see, we talk to our customers in an honest, human, immediate, voice, we listen to what they are telling us, and the numbers start to go up. Hmmm.
Blame it all on Doc Searls.
Interesting. Most of the videos we post on Channel9 get 1000 or so viewings over the first week.
But yesterday I posted a video of the Tablet PC team's general manager and it has been viewed 7800 times already.
So, what was different?
The invisible influencers got excited.
Most people in the industry don't know about them. Why? They are invisible. You can't track them. You often can't talk to them. They aren't MVPs (they don't answer newsgroup postings or have weblogs). But, I've learned that these invisible influencers have extreme influence over markets so you better get to know them.
Who are they? They are ultraconnected enthusiasts who love talking with the most important connectors in your communities. Every company/industry has them. In fact, in interviewing some of these guys (most will only talk to me off the record) they are often double agents, trading secrets between companies, and even between journalists. They are the ones who trade rumors. Information. Leaks.
Yesterday I got to see just how much market power these invisible influencers have. After I posted that video I instant messaged one of these guys. Christopher Coulter. And I told him about the video, IM'ing him something like "check it out, the first of the TabletPC videos is up." Within 50 seconds links to the video appeared on tabletpcbuzz.com, whatisnew.com, tabletpcquestions.com, and other sites. At about that same time, I IM'd Lora Heiny, but she'd already heard from Christopher. This guy is fast and deadly efficient. If guys like him don't like you, he can blow your marketing plan and do it so fast that you won't even know what hit you.
Then, I emailed a guy so secret that he doesn't use his real name online. Creamhackered. He's one of the guys who runs neowin.net. This site is one of those that marketing directors inside Microsoft fear (and, I hear, our execs and lawyers do too). Why? Because they get leaks and interesting info about Microsoft -- frequently before anyone else. And they have a community of thousands of passionate people who love trading information.
Within a few hours there were links on activewin.com, tabletpctalk.com, and messages on the newsgroups, and it was even submitted to slashdot, although slashdot rejected their efforts.
One IM. One email. 7000 people show up. All in 24 hours or so.
To put that in perspective, that's about the same number of people who showed up at the PDC last year.
I asked Christopher how he did it. He told me that he has many of the world's most famous journalists on his IM list. And that he has even more in an email list that he can email to at the drop of a hat.
However he, and Lora, and Creamhackered did it, my hat is off to them. Getting 7000 people to do anything is a pretty mean feat.
Disclaimer, I did IM Robert McLaws too, and a couple of others, and I posted it to the internal Tablet PC email aliases. But, that was later in the day after 1000 people had already visited due to Christopher's network's linking into it.
Larry Osterman is trying to figure out how to show how to divide fractions. If you have an innovative way to explain this to kids, he'd love to know.