Turbocharging MySQL’s Marketing Engine

The other day I criticized MySQL for using somewhat cheap marketing tactics on Planet MySQL.

Obviously I’m a MySQL fan so instead of just criticizing I figured I’d offer some constructive ideas (a patch basically) to fix the problem.

Instead of preaching to the community they should become a leader in the MySQL blogosphere.

MySQL does a great job here at the source code level but they’re using marketing 1.0 tactics which just won’t work with sophisticated customers anymore.

They just don’t really participate in the blogosphere much and I think it’s hurting them. For example, Marten Mickos doesn’t appear to have a blog. Nor is there an official MySQL blog.

To be fair they do have a news and events page but it’s hardly a blog. For starters, it’s all press releases. Yuk. Seriously. Do MySQL customers read press releases? Second. You can’t comment on any of the pages which means no community feedback.

What MySQL needs to do is jump into the community and start participating in the conversation. If they want to push MySQL enterprise then start blogging about where this product can become useful.

The truth is that many blogs are already marketing 2.0 vehicles. My blog helps push Tailrank and Spinn3r (our products). You think Jeremy Cole blogs for his health? While Jeremy cares about the MySQL community it’s also marketing for Proven Scaling.

In Jeremy’s case it’s working (at least on me). I’ve given them 2-3 references for big clients (not sure if they followed up). Believe me this stuff works.

Here’s a solid example! Jeremy rightly pointed out that the scale out posts on MySQL were fluff.

The missed out on a big opportunity here. Around the same time my MySQL and the Death of RAID post was getting a lot of traction. Nearly 25k page views and 28 comments. They could have used this momentum to bootstrap into their communication about scale out. Having a series of blog posts with relevant content along side a meme that the community already finds interesting would have been a great way to drive traffic and hopefully sales of MySQL Enterprise.


  1. Kevin,
    thanks for the feedback. I appreciate your comment that there should be more technical meat in our blogs. We serve a wide audience, many of whom are technical and some of whom are less so.

    We are always looking for ways to be more part of the dialogue rather than just one-way communications. That’s why we created the forums, planetMySQL, MySQL Forge, our conference, MySQL camp, MySQL University etc.

    Personally I like to think of the aggregation of planetMySQL as an official blog in that it includes a wide variety of perspectives from mySQL employees, developers, users, customers, partners and the press.

    There are many employees within MySQL who blog including myself, Kaj Arno, Brian Aker, Jim Winstead, Jay Pipes, Guiseppe, Stewart Smith, Colin Charles, and others. Hopefully some of those are sufficiently technical to make it interesting for you and others. (Personally, I try to focus more on business topics rather than hard-core technology.)

    At any rate, thank you for the feedback and will do our best to make it more meaty and more interactive. Ideas and input are always welcome.

    –Zack

  2. Hi Kevin, I concur with Zack’s comments. There are a bunch of MySQL employees that regularly blog on Planet MySQL, plus there’s the active community team that does blogging too – Jay Pipes, Giuseppe Maxia, Lenz Grimmer, Kaj Arno (and he’s a pretty important/official MySQL voice) and me.

    If we had a corporate/official blog, what do you think it’ll end up being filled with? :-)

    This is why Planet MySQL itself, is a good avenue, as it aggregates the blogs from MySQL’ers and non-MySQL’ers alike. If you look at the non-RSS feed (i.e. the webpage), you end up seeing little “employee” tags against names of employees…

    But I do agree, Marten should probably start a blog. If he did, what would you find interesting to hear about?






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