Several reporters have called me today. A freelancer
working on a story for BusinessWeek wanted to know if it’s *really*
true that Sun Microsystems’ new CEO, Jonathan Schwartz, is the first Fortune 500 CEO blogger… and isn’t
this all just a fad anyway?
Hmmm… no. And yes, he does appear to be the first F500 CEO with a public blog. Jonathan titles his latest entry: On Blogging as CEO. And he starts out with disarming candor:
It’s been a busy week. My heart rate seems to have slowed just to the point where I can taste food again.
So to answer the obvious, for those that have asked the question, “as CEO, will you continue blogging?” Absolutely yes – count on it. (We’ll now be the only Fortune 500
company with a CEO that blogs – the first of many firsts to come.)
Here’s how I see it: CEO bloggers just might represent the tip of the iceberg. The iceberg of a corporate culture characterized by us vs. them, we-know-best vs. our-dumb-customers, corporate-speak because we’ve always done it that way… that is slowly thawing.
An approach to communications that recognizes — and embraces — the fact that the next generation of customers is living and breathing online. (Remember Pew’s recent report: 57% of teen-agers have created content for the Web.) That a company can learn a lot of valuable stuff by listening to its smart employees and customers.
And that the leverage provided by a blog read by thousands is immeasurable. Face-to-face contact is still important, even for a Fortune 500 CEO. But logistics dictate that very few of us will ever have the chance to sit down with Jonathan Schwartz.
Meanwhile, Sun’s new CEO is proselytizing about blogging in the May 8, 2006 issue of Newsweek. He writes:
“I think five or 10 years from now almost every one of my peers will be a blogger. It’s just a more efficient means of connecting with the marketplace.”