Yesterday, I was catching up on some blogs that I regularly read and noticed one that got me to really thinking. It was written by fellow SQL Server enthusiast and blogger extrodenaire Brent Ozar
. The blog posting, entitled Another backup failure: Carbonite
, recounts and offers Brent's commentary on the relatively recent failures of online backup company Carbonite
. The blog is interesting itself and well worth the read, but what I found most interesting was in the comments section.
David Friend, Carbonite's CEO, found Brent's blog and responded to it by leaving a comment. Friend offered some additional insight into the failures and provided some clarifications of its implications. In short, Friend defended the company, downplayed how wide spread the affect was, and indicated that the company is seeking relief and damages from their hardware provider through the court system.
As few as five years ago, news of Carbonite's failures and their subsequent lawsuit would have been relegated to the back side of a page buried deep inside a middle section of the Wall Street Journal where only those who have bird cages to clean would have ever laid eyes on it.
But now in the age of blogs, Twitter, FaceBook, and other social networking sites, news like this spreads as quickly as celebrity gossip. And it's the wise executive who understands and embraces this phenomenon. CEO's, company president's, marketing types, and other public faces for organizations must be prepared to respond to quickly and decisively to public outcry through these media. And it's not just a one-way public relations vehicle, either. The successful company will tap into the collective voice of the community and learn from it.
As an aside: Brent followed up his original commentary with another posting
that asks very pointed questions about Carbonite's decisions prior to the failure, questions that the Carbonite executives should have asked from the very beginning. I hope for their sake, and the sakes of all who trust Carbonite with their data, that the company learns from their mistakes and views the community's response as valuable input.
I'd love to hear your comments on this. Do you agree? Disagree?