Dell have started a blog. It’s called one2one – Direct Conversations With Dell. Many would argue that this move is in direct response to Jeff Jarvis‘ much publicised Dell Hell, which had a significant impact on the Dell brand, or perception thereof, in the blogosphere.

I like what they’re doing. They’ve already taken a bit of flack, but there have been a number of very positive responses to the initiative which, in light of the failures of some other high level external corporate blogs, is pretty brave.

There are Rules of Engagement for the site (a term which automatically has the hairs on the back of my neck standing up)…

Rules of Engagement for one2one Readers

1. one2one is all about conversations. You are encouraged to speak in an honest, informal voice and to foster productive, candid dialogue that can help us learn from each other. We’ll listen, as well as post, and ensure we engage in two-way conversations. Our intent is to provide a timely and accessible alternative to more formal, one-way channels of communication.

2. one2one is for and about Dell customers. That means the dialogue on this blog should be about the products, services, and related technology we provide (or could provide) to our customers. On occasion, we’ll also discuss broader industry issues that could impact how we serve our customers. We will not post any comments that don’t fall under this area.

3. You should always be respectful, no matter what the situation. Civil dialogue is expected from all those involved in the blog conversations. We’ll not post any comments if they are spam, inappropriate, use profanity or are defamatory in any way.

For Rules, they are open, accessible and inclusive. ‘Guidelines’ might have been a better word though :).

I’ve spent some time wading through the posts and comments. I think Dell are on the right track and that this is a bold but constructive move, especially considering the negative press and buzz surrounding Jeff’s justified misgivings. I hope that this blog, unlike many other corporate attempts at consumer engagement, will remain vulnerable, honest and receptive.

If it does, it has the potential to turn the perceptions of many anti-Dell propellerheads. Remember what Scobleizer did for Microsoft’s public persona?