Cisco launches its own industry news site, “The Network:” and Cisco has realized that it’s not just important to be a market share leader. The Network is based on votes by the company’s 187,000 Facebook followers and it will focus on topics chosen and curated by Cisco staff, but readers can also filter the news that they want to view…………
On the web and before social media, a leading brand was defined by a combination of product/service sales, stock price, search rankings, and traffic to their own web site. After social media arrived and everyone went up-in-arms about actual ROI measurement, everyone and their great grandma’s dog were associated with one of the “hot new startups” that had popped up like a horde of prairie dogs in a field the size of Silicon Valley, ready to help us all count mentions of our brand. Cisco has realized that it’s not just important to be a market share leader. Like any formidable enterprise, they know they now need to stay ahead of the game of information, not just sales, or they’ll be lost in NoiseNet. This realization has resulted in the launch of their new site “The Network.” The topics covered on the news site include Data Center, Core Networks, Video, Collaboration, Cisco Culture and Social Media. Each one of those topics has been assigned a “page manager” by Cisco to ensure that there is someone monitoring all content and engagement throughout the site with the goal of keeping things focused, fresh and compelling. Another great function they have built in is the ability to sort the news by date and content type on the All News tab. While Cisco will be able to help curate the content, there will still be a lot of it so the ability to fine tune your own experience while on the site makes it much more useful.
Like most sites nowadays, content across the entire site is wrapped in social content from Twitter and Facebook so no conversation is missed by the readers. Every page is easily shareable, accommodating your social network of choice, easing the flow of syndication of all the site’s content. They have even built their own customized embeddable widget for use on other sites. The web audience is easily bored and easily overwhelmed at the same time. One of the largest challenges of a site like this is maintaining a constant injection of fresh, relevant content that doesn’t all start to look the same after a week or two. The Network hopes to lead the aggregation and curation of tech industry news as it pertains to Cisco’s business, market segments and key partners. Right out of the gate the site will have eleven contributors made up of Cisco staff as well as well-known technology journalists like Steve Wildstrom (BusinessWeek), Mark Gunther (Fortune) and John Carey. If everyone consistently contributes, looking or new angles on topics and can help push the envelope for industry discussion, The Network definitely has a shot at going beyond joining the conversation. Most companies know that now is the time to not just join, but to lead and steer the conversation. That’s where real influence happens.