The Business of Blogging
turbotodd 100000388Y Visits (1611)
an interesting question this past Friday on his blog: How long would it be before CEOs and other top execs turn their backs on blogging? He suggested that many execs just don't have the time [to blog], and that while "blogs are powerful tools," they work only "when the bloggers are ready and willing to dive in."
Many in the b'sphere jumped in to comment. Phil Gomes from Edelman suggests the real backlash is going to come because companies either don't have policies guiding both the CEOs and their external commenters, or more terrifying to execs, when the SEC starts to wonder why their blog postings and regulatory filings aren't in synergy with one another.
Wired's Chris Anderson writes in "The Long Tail" that Baker misses the point, that business and executive blogging are two different animals, reminding us that "markets are conversations" and that people want to hear from real people, not "remote authority figures." Actually, I'd probably parachute and land somewhere in the middle of this blogging war zone. I want to hear from both the rank-and-file and the remote authority figures; oftentimes, they both have something valuable to say.
What went unsaid in this debate is that each constituency presents two very different points of view: one from the bottom or middle looking up, where one gets great clarity seeing from a short distance; and the others from high upon Mount Business Olympus, where execs have a unique vista from which to observe things usually missing from the view halfway down.
Both views are valid, and both can be extremely useful in charting the course of a business. To that end, IBM has made its own contribution to this discussion, in this case from two individuals who have the view from higher up.
Both have also been instrumental in shaping the blogging dialogue inside IBM: Harriet Pearson, Chief Privacy Officer and Vice President for Corporate Affairs (read: her beat includes IBM blogging policy), and Willy Chiu, Vice President of IBM's High Performance On Demand Solutions Group, who has been thinking about how businesses can start to make better sense of all that unstructured, but valuable, "blogodata" floating around.
Check out their dialogue here.