Tomorrow Scott Monty and I will be presenting the first publicly shared case study about our social media work at Ford Motor Company. The forum is Tim O’Reilly’s Web 2.0 Expo, where we kick off the afternoon sessions at 1:30. Here’s the excerpt.

In the automotive industry, images of vehicles are prized and valuable – traditionally, only a select few accredited automotive journalists have access to them via registration-required media websites. Similarly, many large global firms treat their marketing and communications assets as product to be tightly controlled and distributed by request only, whether out of habit or fear of unflattering mashups.

In 2007, Ford Motor company, one of the largest companies in the world, recognized that in an environment where everyone is a publisher, this model simply no longer made sense. Opportunities to help online content producers start conversations and tell richer, better informed stories were being lost because, for the most part, bloggers and others were not encouraged or interested in looking for the door to the walled garden.

On the flip side, while everyone outside the enterprise is a publisher, so is everyone inside. Dozens of organic digital content projects were popping up within Ford – from “semi official” YouTube channels to small-scale, one-off sharing of images and other content with enthusiast groups. A thousand points of light, not focused enough to truly illuminate or accomplish anything.

In this case study, Scott Monty, Ford’s Global Digital & Multimedia Communications Manager, Social Media and Maggie Fox, CEO of Social Media Group describe the process and platforms Ford brought into play to aggregate their digital content and transform the walled garden into a firehose of Creative-Commons licensed assets available for use by anyone who was interested in talking about the company or their brands – good or bad.

If you’re in San Francisco, hope you can make it to the session – be sure to come by and heckle us!

1 Comment

  1. Looks like a great presentation. I am interested in the legal aspect of this. Does a company that wants to engage suffers of unnecessary exposure? Is the risk worth the benefit?

    And most importantly how do you convince legal to let you do it.

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