November 6, 2006 3:57 PM PST

Coming soon to YouTube: Sun product videos

In a sequel to its advocacy of internal blogs, Sun Microsystems has begun encouraging its rank-and-file employees to publish videos promoting the company's products.

Sun has launched an internal contest to see who can publish the most compelling video at video-sharing site YouTube, said Sun Chief Marketing Officer Anil Gadre. He said that Sun minions tell him, "If I could just get out and tell everyone about my product myself, we would sell so much more," Gadre said. "YouTube allows us to enable every one of them to do just that."

The internal contest has triggered some inter-group rivalry, Gadre said. John Fowler, executive vice president of the server group, posted his own Halloween video exhorting his employees to come up with "creative, wacky, energizing educational videos."

Sun was credited with visionary status in the dot-com boom but has struggled to win back its prestige and influence since then. In an effort to once again "become part of the conversation" among computing equipment buyers, Sun executives have encouraged their employees to publish their own blogs.

Employee blogs pose some risk that information will be released before it's been vetted by lawyers, public relations staff or marketing departments. But the company is out to become more visible: High-profile bloggers include Chief Executive Jonathan Schwartz, General Counsel Mike Dillon and Chief Technology Officer Greg Papadopoulos, have their own blogs.

Schwartz has been trying to elevate the blog even more. In October he argued that companies should be permitted to disseminate official information via blogs and the company's Web site. In that blog entry, he published his request to Christopher Cox, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Cox responded Thursday in a comment to Schwartz's blog. He said that before such a move would be possible, companies would need to be able to guarantee that their Web sites indeed provide the "broad non-exclusionary access" required by fair-disclosure regulations.

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7 comments

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So basically
they are saying "we are broke, we cannot pay for marketing or publicity, so let´s hope our employees will do it on their free time".
Sad.
Posted by herby67 (144 comments )
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I interpret it as...
...the rank and file engineers know their products better than marketing, and Sun trusts them enough to get the word out.
Posted by dsyasar (5 comments )
Link Flag
They are far from broke fool!
For some reason Sun doesn't want to go after marketing to the public. I cannot understand it, but their products do speak for themselves once people know about them. $2 billion a year on R&D tends to tighten spending in other areas. They would be cleaning up, though, if they marketed like commodity companies such as Dell!
Posted by matt_parker (52 comments )
Link Flag
SUN trying every means ..
Hmm. They don't have billions of dollars to burn
in marketting, so these kind of approaches are good. They have posted 3 quarters of year-over-year revenue growth. Let us wait 1 more year to
see whether they will post consistent profitability.
Posted by pokiri (98 comments )
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Precisely Why They Will Continue To Grow!
Marketing dollars aren't pulling customers in under false pretenses. It can only get better. Sun's profits aren't growing by accident. Their products are way ahead of the competition. The T1 processor is an estimated 5 years ahead. Wait until Niagara II and Rock come out. Sun has completely changed from a proprietary ultra-SPARC company to the most open-sourced - by far - of its kind.
Posted by matt_parker (52 comments )
Link Flag
This could backfire bigtime..!
Just wait till some disgruntled employee comes up with a "creative,
wacky, energizing educational whistle blowing video"...!! This could
get interesting..
:-) (pass the popcorn please)
Posted by imacpwr (456 comments )
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