PR Squared has a great post about transparency - why it's important in today's environment. Todd Defren cites Shel Holtz's post, which opined that SHIFT's expertise in social media and commitment to transparency was the key to winning the account.
Indeed, Novell has completely turned around when it comes to transparency. Not only is their technology based on open-source, but their very behavior is open-source: an entire page of Novell's Web site is dedicated to Novell company blogs.
In trying to quantify the value of social media, Defren writes: "I am absolutely convinced that "transparency" is the #1 most positive ideal to rise from the Social Media era." While this doesn't equate to 100% openness, it means that companies are more communicative about more issues, leading to conversations that can improve the brand experience. Defren cites fairness and the wisdom of crowds as the principles of transparency.
How much is too much? That is an answer that lies with each organization's tolerability for and culture around transparency. But the winners in our Web 2.0 world will certainly be part of the conversation with their customers.
(Disclaimer: Novell is a client of SHIFT Communications and of PJA Advertsing + Marketing)