Dell blog tames a 'wild ride': Dell 'listens,' but does it understand?

Dell’s cavalier attitude about the integrity of its brand image is astounding; Dell’s calculated cynicism about the real-world implications of domain confusion on Dell customers is inexcusable.

Days after the launch of its corporate blog last month, Dell posted July 13, “Are We Having Fun Yet? Heck yeah!” advising “Dell one2one’s first four days have been a wild ride” and confirming “there’s a lot of listening going on at Dell.”

In my July 12 scoop “Dell blog or One2One: Which is fun?” I shared my first-hand discovery of a major Dell blog strategy snafu, lack of domain research:

Having read my fellow bloggers' straight forward, objective analyses of the Dell entry into the blogosphere, I nevertheless wanted to judge the Dell blogging effort for myself. Remebering the blog name referred to in the numerous unimpassioned blog posts, I navigated to one2one.com.

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I knew that Dell promised ‘real people,’ eager to listen. Contrary to my expectation of arriving at a staid, boring corporate shell, however, aiming to put forth ‘corporate speak,’ I was greeted by a very ‘live action’ experience featuring ‘online babes’ eager to chat.

In addition to my blog post recounting my search for the Dell blog, but arrival at a XXX porn site, I also sent a personal email to the Dell Webmaster advising of the Dell blog domain snafu.

Reacting to blogger “pundits,” Dell changed the name and domain of its corporate blog August 3 to “Direct2Dell,” instead of “One2One.”

Dell’s explanation of its change, however, reconfirms Dell’s strategic decisions are not always well thought out. Dell says it knew about the one2one XXX porn site in advance of the launch of its corporate blog under the same name, but was not concerned:

We looked at the site in question before we launched. We were planning to use a sub-domain and felt it would not be an issue. We also were betting that the few Dell customers who ended up there would realize it’s NOT Dell’s blog. Other than that, we just admired their SEO skills.

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DELL BLOG AT LAUNCH IN JULY

We’re focused on the conversation and we’re just getting warmed up. Changing our name and URL is a little like moving the furniture in the middle of a dinner party. Having said that, we’d rather spare you an accidental visit to an unrelated site.

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DELL BLOG NOW

From today forward, you'll be routed to our new www.direct2dell.com address. Sorry for the inconvenience—we look forward to continuing the conversation.

Dell’s cavalier attitude about the integrity of its corporate domain property and its brand image is astounding.

Dell’s calculated cynicism about the real-world implications of domain confusion on Dell customers is inexcusable.

Dell has willingly and knowingly risked both the integrity of its brand image and a loss of visitors searching for the Dell blog. Moreover, Dell’s flawed blog naming and domaining strategy has exposed the Dell corporation to potential legal liabilities.

Underage students seeking to research Dell products could very well end up at the XXX porn site, rather than a Dell property.

A commenter at my blog posted this “important warning” to my readers:

If you go check One2One (wich is a porn site), be sure to disable JavaScript, have security set to maximum, make sure your firewall is ON. The site does a good job to disturb your PC.

Dell is not only oblivious to the dangers inherent in a XXX porn site, it may even hope to emulate their “best practices”:

we just admired their SEO skills

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