Friday, August 04, 2006

Corporate blogging part 4 - blog review

Some general observations. With few exceptions, the CEO blogs (I'm using that term loosely... a few of the blogs were by CTOs or division Presidents, but they were close enough to CEOs in my view to be included in the assessment) lacked a couple of key blogging requirements:

  1. Post frequency. Most of the blogs had fewer than 10 posts per month. Many had fewer than five. And a number that I checked had ONE post in total. Just my theory: a blog with one post isn't a blog.
  2. Humor. This was in exceedingly short supply in the CEO blogs, even the best ones. Other emotions showed themselves: a great deal of earnestness, a surprising amount of whining/complaining about others (competitors, unreliable suppliers, etc.), a tad of ego--not unexpected. But folks--lighten up a bit, will you?
With that said, here are the awards:

Gold Medal:
Matt Blumberg, CEO Return Path. Blog: Only Once. This blog has a theme, an interesting one, that makes you want to engage ("You're only a first time CEO once"). And he keeps to the theme--what he's reading; challenges with hiring; people he meets through his role. It's fascinating. There are plenty of posts. More humor than any other blog, and a good amount of sharing who Matt Blumberg is beyond the office. There's not much sales pitch, and what is there is not unwelcome because the rest of the blog is so winning. Great job, Matt!

Silver Medal:
Craig Newmark, CEO Craigslist. Blog: Craigblog. Lots of posts--nearly one every working day. No sales pitches. A view inside Craigslist, interesting ideas on politics and the law. His pet items (citizen's media, net neutrality) are right out there. A brief but good list of external links. And enough of a view into Craig as a person.

Honorable Mention:
Mark Cuban, Dallas Mavericks, HDNet, et. al. Blog: Blog Maverick. Read a few posts on his blog, and you know him completely. There is absolutely no distance or artifice in his blog. It's all Mark. And he's a nut for sure, but a nut who'd be fun to hang around with.

Worst Corporate Blog:
Randy Baseler, VP Marketing Boeing Commercial Airplanes. Blog: Randy's Journal. I was suspicious from the very outset. When a company's most prominent corporate blog is by the marketing guy rather than the CEO or someone like him... watch out. Sales pitch is coming. And does it come: post after post about the 787 Dreamliner, 777, Next-Generation 737. They're unbelievably great airplanes. Why would you fly anything else? Boeing rules! It's endless. And completely predictable.

In one post, you get surprised. He's praising the competitor, Airbus, on their new A350 concept. But wait--here comes a zinger: "One might question whether they can do all those things and also produce an efficient airplane, given that they have not incorporated all the breakthrough technologies of the 787 Dreamliner."

Grace and class are qualities that apparently elude the commercial aircraft industry.

Incompletes (inadequate numbers of posts):
John Mackey (Whole Foods Markets), Diane Greene (VMware), Mena Trott (Six Apart). Folks, time to add some posts or take down the blogs. You're wasting disk space.

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