FordBoldMoves Site Suddenly A Poor Reflection of "Boldness."

David Kiley

Last Fall I wrote a feature article on how Ford Motor Co.'s website was a breath of fresh air, even if some of its content was controversial inside Ford. Besides a series of pretty well done webisodes produced by production company radic@l media, it had a lively mix of articles and a community buzz section. The site was much ballyhooed by Ford last year as an important new form of communications with its customers, employees and the public at large.

Sure, I was disappointed when Ford decided to not do another set of webisodes. Some were very good. They are still up on the site. Others not so much. But the mix of stories that showed both the upside and downside of Ford was refreshing. Dare I say...Bold. Especially for Ford.

But Ford hasn't just decided not to renew the webisode feature, the whole site has gone static except for a feed of wire stories about the company. No new video. No new articles. No active forums. The entries from last January are up there, including farewell notes from the sections that have gone static. Yeech.

This is bold? It looks as lame as the blog of Whole Foods CEO John Mackey, which hasn't been updated since November. Now, there is an in-touch CEO brimming with modernity and communication with his constituents. I know CEOs are busy. But if you aren't going to keep a blog, website or forum current, don't both having it up at all. It makes you look foolish and out of touch. Don't you think?

Ford has a pretty good ad campaign going right now for the Fusion and Expedition. The Fusion Challenge, for example, which shows how consumers chose the Fusion over a Camry and Accord on important criteria like ride and handling, is a natural thing to have extended to

Ford's comeback is still very much a work in progress. With profitability not expected until 2009, the website seemed a good place to continue to tell the companys story. At least I thought so.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.