Managing Corporate Reputation in the Blogosphere: The Case of Dell Computer
- 36 Downloads
The emergence of the blogosphere has created new challenges for large companies in the management of their corporate reputations, since grass roots blogs can generate negative perceptions about a firm and then spread them rapidly and widely. The blogosphere has also created new opportunities for firms to enhance their reputations, because the informal and personal communication that occurs on blogs may generate significant positive ‘Internet word of mouth’. This paper examines the interaction between the blogosphere and a leading technology company, Dell Computer, over a critical two-year period. Our approach combines two novel techniques: automated mining of blog entries, enabled by parsing software, which generates semantic analysis and network maps of the relevant blog entries; and netnography, a method derived from ethnography for analyzing Internet-based discussions. This study shows that many established reputation management approaches, which were developed during the era of mass media, need to be reshaped to meet new realities in the age of Web 2.0.
Keywordsblogosphere corporate reputation Dell Computer
- Belson, K. (2006) ‘Your call is important to us. Please stay awake’, New York Times, 26 June.Google Scholar
- Benkler, Y. (2006) The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom, Yale University Press, New Haven.Google Scholar
- Gloor, P. and Cooper, S. (2007) ‘Coolhunting – Chasing Down the Next Big Thing’, AMACOM, NY, Spring 2007.Google Scholar
- Gloor, P. and Zhao, Y. (2004) ‘TeCFlow – A temporal communication flow visualizer for social network analysis’, Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) Conference.Google Scholar
- Greyser, S.A. (1992) ‘Johnson & Johnson: The Tylenol tragedy’, Harvard Business School Case, #9-583-043.Google Scholar
- Herring, S.C., Scheidt, L.A., Bonus, S. and Wright, E. (2004) ‘Bridging the gap: A genre analysis of weblogs’, Proceedings of the 37th Hawaii International Conference on Social Systems (HICSS), Big Island, Hawaii.Google Scholar
- Hoffman, D.L. (2009) ‘Managing beyond Web 2.0’, McKinsey Quarterly, July: S, 1–4.Google Scholar
- Jackson, A., Yates, J. and Orlikowski, W. (2007) ‘Corporate blogging: Building community through persistent digital talk’, Proceedings of the 40th Hawaii International Conference on Social Systems (HICSS), Waikoloa, Hawaii.Google Scholar
- Jarvis, J. (2005a) ‘Buzz machine’, Dell Archives (21 June–11 July), http://www.buzzmachine.com/archives/cat_dell.html.
- Jarvis, J. (2005b) ‘Buzz machine’, Dell Archives July, http://www.buzzmachine.com/2005/07/.
- Krauss, J., Nann, S., Simon, D., Fischbach, K. and Gloor, P. (2008) ‘Predicting movie success and academy awards through sentiment and social network analysis’, Proceedings of the European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS), Galway, Ireland, 9–11 June.Google Scholar
- Li, C. and Bernoff, J. (2008) Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies, Harvard Business School Press, Boston.Google Scholar
- Locke, C., Searls, D., Weinberger, D. and Levine, R. (1999) ‘The Cluetrain Manifesto’, http://www.cluetrain.com/.
- Magretta, J. (1998) ‘The power of virtual integration: An interview with Dell Computer's Michael Dell’, Harvard Business Review, 72 (3), 72–84.Google Scholar
- Malone, T.W., Laubacher, R. and Dellarocas, C. (2009) ‘Harnessing crowds: Mapping the genome of collective intelligence’, MIT Center for Collective Intelligence Working Paper, http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1381502.
- Market Sentinel, Onalytica and Immediate Future. (2005) ‘Measuring the influence of bloggers on corporate reputation’, Private report.Google Scholar
- Market Sentinel. (2007) ‘Responding to crisis using social media: Updating the “Dell Hell” case study – Are Dell turning opinion round?’, Private report.Google Scholar
- Menchaca, L. (2006a) ‘Flaming notebook’, Direct2Dell, 13 July, http://en.community.dell.com/blogs/direct2dell/archive/2006/07/13/431.aspx.
- Menchaca, L. (2006b) ‘Real people are here and we’re listening’, Direct2Dell, 11 July, http://en.community.dell.com/blogs/direct2dell/archive/2006/07/11/117.aspx.
- Menchaca, L. (2007) ‘Dell offers three consumer systems with Ubuntu 7.04’, Direct2Dell, 24 May, http://en.community.dell.com/blogs/direct2dell/archive/2007/05/24/15994.aspx.
- Polgren, L. (2004) ‘The pen is mightier than the lock’, New York Times, 17 September.Google Scholar
- Scoble, R. and Shel, I. (2006) Naked Conversations, Wiley, Hoboken, NJ.Google Scholar
- Wilber, D.Q. (2007) ‘Airlines look for trouble on blogs’, Washington Post, 10 June.Google Scholar
- Yin, R. (1994) Case Study Research: Design and Methods, 2nd edn., Sage Publishing, Beverly Hills, CA.Google Scholar