Friday, March 9, 2007

A new Forum at

The views of this blog do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Sprint Nextel Corporation. I'm providing these comments as an independent blogger who happens to work for Sprint.

We launched our new Sprint Online Community - BuzzAboutWireless ( on March 1st. So far we've received a lot of feedback from visitors. The people who have posted messages mainly believe this is a good idea and express hope that we will fulfill our promise to be open and honest in the community.

We created the site to provide a forum for customers and prospective customers to share ideas, get information, read and submit product reviews and ratings, and to just "rant". The Rant and Raves forum has received the most attention so far. That wasn't unexpected.

Our hope is that be being honest we will build trust. This is not a Marketing scheme, it's being run by eBusiness people. If a visitor wants to describe the problem they have with Sprint service or with a given phone, we won't censor the message. There are guidelines for conduct and content, but we are striving to avoid a "sterilized" site. And the objective is to make sure someone in our Customer Service, Product Development, Billing, or Network team sees these posts and will take action where possible.

In one week we've seen 20K visitors averaging 3.9 pageviews each. It's a start.

Managing Through Adversity

Layoffs and voluntary separation packages (VSPs) have become part of the Sprint Nextel culture this year. It's been such a distraction that many teams have become paralyzed. Our department has been lucky in that we were relatively untouched by the downsizing. However, our favorite Vice President submitted his resignation two weeks ago and left promptly last Wednesday. He's pursuing a great opportunity, as many people do. One of our favorite Directors, my friend, is also leaving at the end of March. Another great opportunity, this time in San Francisco. More adversity for a large team.

As a Director myself, I know that it's important to remain "human" through all of this. People react differently to these changes and times of uncertainty. Many keep their noses to the grindstone and shuffle between meetings like dutiful "Bedouin nomads" as one employee put it. Others want continuous information and communication. It seems that gossip abhors a vacuum. So if you're not giving updates, updates are being given on your behalf, truth be damned.

Talk to people and broadcast information to the team. I've never gotten negative feedback for over-communicating.

Dipping my Toe in the Blogosphere

Guess it won't be long before everyone has a Blog site.

Some will seek fame or attempt to gain notoriety via their blogs. An incendiary soapbox, if you will.

I'd just like to have a place to share my opinion on a few things.

You know what they say about opinions...

Then again, we know that opinions can change with the arrival of new information. But there's a fine line between being open-minded and being wishy-washy. After all, if you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything.

Oh yeah, this is a great place for anecdotes, metaphors, and platitudes.