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CEO blogging: why every UK publisher should do it.

Jeff Jarvis points to a New York Times article about CEO bloggers (requires a sazzerfrazzin registration to view it) -  a veritable call to arms to ones who don't do it yet.

Hmm. Maybe. Some of them. Maybe. Not all. But I do know one sector where CEOs should be asked difficult questions by their shareholders if they aren't blogging...

Mr Jarvis asks: "Who are the CEOs that you think should be blogging?", to which I left the following comment*, reflecting what may be clear to you, is becoming a favourite topic, since my own recent entanglement with trade media:

I’d like to see the CEOs of some publishing houses in the UK blogging.

Not necessarily for the communications benefits, but for the personal experience of seeing the power of networks first hand. They’d see how content and dialogue flows between nodes in the network - blogs and media websites - and how intricate and powerful the interplay of influences are.

It would be educational for them, they really would learn something about how their industry is changing.

The publishing bosses who would benefit from it most are those who have trade and specialist publications in their portfolios, as some of these are most ripe for the communities they supposedly serve to disintermediate their services.

I wrote about this yesterday here: http://open.typepad.com/open/2006/07/guardian_takes_.html

(* I know trackbacks would be easier but I couldn't work out how to do it on Buzzmachine.)

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Well said, Antony—and I do use blogging to learn about and clarify my own publishing ventures. I could well be unique.

Fair play to you, Jack... Do you have any posts that outline your main learnings as a publisher you would care to point to? Or if not, what are the main lessons you've learnt as a publisher from blogging?

Your comment applied to CEO's in any industry. One advantage CEO's in the publishing business would have is they know how to write (or I would assume that). This is one excuse some of my CEO friends make for not blogging.

Not going to happen while vested interests believe that subscription lists sell advertising space. The last thing these folk want is for the likes of thee and me climbing over their walled gardens.

They'll have to get their heads round it soon or we'll be building our own gardens pretty soon. We already are in some ways...

Antony, I do have a few that spring to mind where I tried to clear up my own thinking, but as you know there are quite a few more where there was a proper dialogue with readers.


Blogging, to me, is an example of one of the pieces of advice I give clients: make sure the CEO is connected to the customer base. Or get the CEO to answer some of the feedback forms online. To me, it is about walking the talk.

In addition, blogging proved to me that I enjoyed writing—getting back to basics. When you are at the coal face of publishing, you can begin to form a bit of a passion against writing articles.

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