Wednesday, November 17, 2004

CEO Blogging: rules, regulations...what?

If you read any of my BloggerCon recaps, you know I'm not a big fan of trying to define, constrain, regulate, or in any way narrow the reach of blogs.

I don't understand how on the one hand people in the blogosphere or technosphere can say a) the Internet is free or b) it's not getting 10,000 hits, it's getting the right 10 hits or c) decry all forms of governemnt intrusion into the Internet, but at the same time...they are all about trying to tell you what constitutes a worthy blog.

I subscribe to 130 subscriptions in my news aggregator as of this writing, and can tell you there are very few blogs that follow the same pattern. And that's a good thing. Spice of life and all that.

Why am I bringing this up? Last night, at dinner with Renee Blodgett, we discussed a recent post by Seth Godin on whether CEOs should blog (I'll give you a hint...he has a bunch of rules to determine whether they should or not.) Renee begs to differ and posted saying so.

Where do I stand? In Renee's corner.

Godin posted five "requirements" to make blogs "work", and claimed four out of five are required, or just forget about it. Hmmm, can't say I agree. Let's look at the "requirements":

Candor: well, yes, especially due to regulatory issues, a CEO better be telling the truth. I'll give Godin this one.

Urgency: nope. Most blogs I read are not "urgent". Often they are casually observational in a non-urgent way. I suppose if you consider the blog an advocacy tool...or if you're trying to make it one big call to action, then urgency might matter...but the point of a CEO blog is to give investors/customers a different view of the company/product/service...not the same old marketing view.

Timeliness: again, nope. If a blogger tells a good story I don't really care if it happened to them today or two weeks ago. I'm not living their life in the moment. I don't need to be reading about it in the moment. I grant you that a blog should be updated at least weekly, give or take. But frankly, reviewing all my feeds in a reader, I don't really notice when a particular feed hasn't been updated in a while. Sometimes a post pops up, and I do think, "huh, haven't heard from them in a while." But it's hardly a huge problem for me.

Pithiness: I'm not one of those (obviously from my own blog) that believes blog entries have to be only 1 or 2 paragraphs. If it's worthwhile tell me about it...take your time if it's a good story. Crap content is a waste of my time whether it's 1 page or 1 sentence. Good content is worth my time, pithy or verbose.

Controversy: whatever. I don't even get this. Not all blogs are political. Controversy is so not a part of most blogs I read regularly.

Just a small part of the conversation from last night's dinner.

Just here to tell you CEOs out there that Renee and I think you should blog, Godin be damned!

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