Cool to be quoted yesterday in Randall Stross's Digital Domain column in the Sunday New York Times Business section (July 30, 2006). Stross interviewed me at length for the article and mentioned The Corporate Blogging Book "which Portfolio Hardcover is to publish this week." He began by positing that CEOs tend to avoid high-risk activities like sky diving and rock climbing... and blogging. But why?
He goes on to cite Sun Microsystems Fortune 500 CEO blogger Jonathan Schwartz (the only F500 CEO blogging publicly). Schwartz's comments on his blog in the wake of Sun's most recent quarterly earnings announcement are a "tonic," writes Stross.
"Tonic" is a great descriptor, I think, for the effect of Schwartz's blog entry. What Jonathan writes isn't earth shaking but it's a spirit booster and we all know that does have an impact on our perceptions of a brand and, ultimately, on the market. Jonathan blogged (and prompted 57 comments from readers in return):
So I thought I'd add some color to our numbers, and put some of our competitor's comments into context..." - Jonathan's blog 7/25/06
Even more revealing - and appealing - is what Jonathan blogged late last night (well after the NYTimes article was published):
"I had lunch with Tony Blair today. (And yes, I have been waiting all afternoon to type that.)" - Jonathan Schwartz on his blog (7/30/06)
He sounds like an excited kid who isn't too cool to admit that being a F500 CEO gives you access to famous people and historic moments.
Randy manages to make me more controversial than I am by concluding his column with this quote:
Ms. Weil, the author, spoke with me last week about the reluctance of Fortune 500 executives to share their thoughts on a public blog, and could find no acceptable excuse for their silence.
“They should come down from the mountain and communicate in their own words — without handlers,” Ms. Weil said. “For what they’re paid, is that too much to ask?” - Randall Stross in The New York Times (7/30/06)
In fact, I said something to that effect. Then we crafted the quote together to make it sound good, er, edgy. I don't think that every CEO should necessarily blog. Not unless he/she has something interesting to say and is a reasonably good writer.
P.S. Randy took many of his points for the column from my chapter on CEO blogging in my new book, The Corporate Blogging Book.