A recent meme that's got some smart folks arguing back and forth: is blogging ennui about to set in amongst the CEO crowd? Stephen Baker asks in BusinessWeek's Blogspotting.net. Chris Anderson (of Longtail fame) makes the point that employee blogs are bound to be more authentic than CEO blogs. Neville Hobson adds his two cents, noting that individuals are more credible than CEOs.
Interestingly, Stephen Baker was prompted to ask the question after reading my write-up about Intel CEO Paul Intellini's internal blog. I noted that Otellini blogs every week to ten days. Evidence, Baker says, that CEOs will soon weary of the time-intensive nature of blogging.
I put the question to Seth Godin in an interview for my book, asking "Are CEO or senior exec blogs a passing fad?" His reponse:
"Is communication a passing fad? As long as they want to communicate they need a blog."
That said, Seth admitted that blogging boredom is bound to happen. With 80,000 new blogs every day a CEO's blog - or any blog - better be pretty darn good or we won't read it.
"No one can keep up, so we won't try. Instead, we'll find the really good ones, or the popular ones or the specific ones and stick with those."
My take on the question of corporate blogging backlash and CEO vs. employee blogs... Too soon to tell. In the inner circle of we-who-are-in-the-know it may seem as if we're due for a backlash or a bit of boredom. The reality, I suspect, is that most companies and CEOs are just waking up to blogs. They're asking three basic questions: 1) What are the risks? 2) What's in it for us - or for me, if it's the CEO herself? and 3) If our company and/or employees blog, how can we do it effectively and keep it going?
It's the last question that's the most pertinent right now. The "how" of corporate blogging. And while I agree that it's often easier for smaller companies to be nimbler and more creative, I wouldn't rule out the big dogs' use of blogs - or something akin to them - just yet.
New kids on the blog: CEOs (New Jersey Star Ledger)