The Rise of Individual Credibility

    October 3, 2005

A challenging assessment of the differences between executive blogging and business blogging and which are best blogs …

… by Chris Anderson, editor-in-chief of Wired magazine, writing in The Long Tail:

[…] It’s a huge mistake to equate executive blogs with business blogging, just as it’s a huge mistake to see the world only through the economic and culture lens of stars and hits (what I call “headism”). The best business blogs come from the employees, not the bosses. They have more time, and are less prone to marketing gobbledygook and gnomic platitudes. And those kind of blogs are on the rise, not the decline.

Chris’ post is in response to one by Stephen Baker, who wrote in Business Week’s Blogspotting last week that the business blog backlash is nigh.

Stephen’s probably right where he says “it’s the rare CEO who has the time and energy and openness to blog.” Yet as with any blogger, lack of time, energy and openness are factors, yes, but I think more important are those related to actually having something worthwhile to say and the ability to be able to express yourself credibly, whether you’re a CEO or anyone else, in a way that produces a positive reaction from those who read what you write (ie, talk, comment, link).

And that is at the heart of Chris Anderson’s prime point:

[…] Simply put, we’re starting to trust what executives say less and what employees say more. And if given a choice, as is the case with companies that let their employees blog, we’ll take the word of an articulate engineer in the belly of the beast over the double-speak of a press release any day. As institutional credibility declines (from Enron to the White House), individual credibility is taking its place.

Read Chris’ complete post and see what you think.

Also, see two good articles posted as part of Global PR Blog Week 2.0, which provide perspectives of both sides of the coin as far as CEO blogging is concerned – Why CEOs shouldn’t blog by Dave Taylor, and Why CEOs should blog by Jeneane Sessum.

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