I've been putting some thoughts together this week around the idea of brands and the age of conversation (great book), mostly things that have been kicking around here and other blogs, and I was lucky to come across this post from James on Etsy.
On the Etsy blog the founders provide a lot of inspiration on how they think about and built their community and business, and why it's completely different than how most companies have done it in the past. I love the part I've clipped below, it really sums up how thinking about conversations isn't a tactical question, it really should come from within the culture of the company and what it believes in, how it's all about being human first and foremost:
large corporations try to sanitize all their outgoing messages for the sake of keeping face. It is very easy to identify this kind of behavior. Whenever you read something and it sounds like a series of pre-made phrases strung together, instead of a human being speaking, this is sanitized communication. To me, this stuff sounds inhuman.
I want Etsy to stay human. This means allowing each person’s voice to be heard, even if it’s squeaky or loud or soft. I will not put a glossy layer of PR over what we do. If we trip, let us learn from it instead of trying to hide it; when we leap, let’s show others how to leap. Hence the title of this whole blog post: Open Etsy.
Internet companies like Etsy don't have all of the answers, not by a long-shot, but there is a lot to be said for the 2.0 web way of thinking (if you could put it that way). In a word, "Be More Like the Internet".