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November 05, 2005

If You Want to Lead, Blog


REQUIRED READING:

If You Want to Lead, Blog | Harvard Business Journal | Jonathan Schwartz


As the COO/President of Sun Microsystems, Jonathan Schwartz is one of the more prominent c-level blogging execs. (Wander over to his blog and I’m sure you’ll be impressed with his candor and easy-going blogging style.)

Throughout the recently held BLOGGING ENTERPRISE conference, Jonathan’s blog was mentioned as a benchmark blog for c-level execs. And whattaya know … in the November issue of Harvard Business Review (HBR), Jonathan has written a must-read article for any business wrestling with the idea of starting a company blog.

Because HBR is super-vigilant about copying/posting/distributing their articles, I’m not comfortable setting this article free. (Take a look at the terms & conditions I had to agree to in order to access the article online.)

Since I can’t free the article, I’ll share some key highlights…

Many Sun Microsystems top-level execs blog. In their blogs, they talk about business strategy, company values, products in the pipeline, successes, and failures. Sun realizes this may seem risky but Sun believes it is riskier not to blog. Sun wants to be a part of the conversation that will go on whether or not Sun participates.

By participating in the blogging conversation, Sun is able to communicate its corporate culture to not only customers but also to current and future Sun employees.

For companies interested in blogging but not knowing where to start, Jonathan recommends first reading Sun’s blogging strategy and guidelines document. He goes on to make more recommendations for blogging companies …
** use an honest, humorous, and open voice
** show respect for the audience
** don’t treat blogging like advertising
** don’t micromange … communicate the guidelines and let company bloggers loose
** revisit and modify your company’s blogging policy if need be
** listen to feedback
** respond to legitimate feedback
** “Authenticity is paramount.”


This was only an abstract of the worthy read article. My advice is go to your local bookstore, open up the November issue of Harvard Business Review to page 30, and read the entire one-page article. Good stuff.

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Comments

Let's hope that the people at Forbes read Jonathan's piece in HBR. ;-)

Gabriel S.

so....can you cut and paste into an email???

i won't tell if you don't...;

You can also purchase just the article for $6 at the HBR link provided. Be warned that it's only a 1 page article and no matter how good the material, that's a little pricey. (I'm constantly researching web ordering & electronic fulfilment processes, so I wrote it off as another ui research experience. I give them an "A", btw.)

Robert Pierce
c3mediagroup.com

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