Dell‘s Richard Binhammer was the guest speaker of Third Tuesday Ottawa this past Monday (don’t ask). At its core, his was a presentation about corporate attitudes and values and it was loaded with interesting case studies, insights and guidance on using social technologies to transform customer experiences.

There were many interesting ‘take-aways’ from Richard’s talk including that if I put certain Dell-specific keywords in this post, I’m guaranteed a response from Dell. To avoid misdirecting Dell resources I won’t test the theory.

Perhaps the most significant point is that Dell is RE-defining itself as a listening company. They’re using their own blog and tools like Google Alerts, Technorati, and Yahoo Pipes to follow and actively participate in ‘the conversation’.

During the interactive portion of the talk, a member of the audience challenged Richard on whether Dell plays the numbers game to determine which online activity to monitor and respond to. The argument was that Dell must be basing their decisions on social ranking such as those determined by Google and Technorati — a decidedly archaic approach to marketing. Richard replied by saying that you never know which blog post is going to take off so the significance of any Dell-related comment, good or bad, is the same no matter who posts it — an approach that respects the Cluetrain Manifesto and The Long Tail and, more importantly, the customer.

I caught up on Richard’s blog as part of my wake-up this morning and discovered this video. Whether you believe it or not, it’s a great inspirational-kick-start for your day… brought to you by Dell.