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Opinion tracking

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Scott Johnson publishes a fair number of gripes about Microsoft products. So I find it amusing that Microsoft employees use Feedster—a product developed by Scott using open-source technologies—to keep an eye on what the blogging world has to say about MS products.

That’s not to say it’s not a good idea. If you manage a product of any sort, it is essential to know what people think of it. And they won’t often tell you directly. If you think that your customer focus groups are all you need, think again. People won’t often tell you what they really think. Instead they will tell you what they think you want to hear. To guage people’s true feelings, you need to listen to what they say to other people. Listen to conversations on the subway. Read blogs. Lurk on email lists. This is how to discover what people really think.

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