I’m going to do something I don’t usually do, and that’s disagree with my friend and fellow meshconference.com organizer Rob Hyndman on the subject of whether CEOs should blog or not — sparked by the New York Times article on the subject. Rob says that he doesn’t see how a CEO could possibly have the time to blog, since most of them are fanatically busy, and that he “doesn’t get” claims that CEOs or political candidates should blog.
I can totally see the point that many CEOs are extremely busy trying to run their companies or put out fires of various kinds, or simply trying to understand the various forces acting on their businesses from day to day — and Mark Evans, in a comment on Rob’s post, also makes a good point when he says that CEOs have to be aware of Sarbanes-Oxley and other legislation that ties their hands when it comes to disclosure. All that said, however, I still believe that there is a place for a blogging CEO.
Obviously, not every CEO is going to be Mark Cuban, nor is every one going to be Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz or Edelman head Richard Edelman. And I don’t think anyone would expect a busy CEO, or political candidate for that matter, to blog religiously or obsessively. But I think the direct conduit that a blog — even a sporadically updated one — offers between a CEO and his customers or clients, or even his own employees, is a very valuable thing. Surely a few minutes here or there could be found by just about any CEO to try and keep that conduit alive.