Well, things have started to settle down on the new business front so I can return some attention to my little blog here. I've also been traveling a bit more than usual so that supports my excuses a bit further. Anyway, the purpose of this post is to mention a key factor to consider when starting a blog.
Yesterday, I stumbled across Curt Shilling's (Boston Red Sox Pitcher for those of you not sports minded) blog, 38pitches. First off, I congratulate Curt for taking on such an initiative and not editing the comments readers are posting. Yesterday's entry garnered 75 responses and some of them were quite negative. The only requirement Curt gives is that children will read this blog so it is important for commenter's to remember that. In a sports market like Boston, this is quite the undertaking by Schilling, but I applaud his willingness to share his POV with the Sox fans and provide an opportunity for them to speak directly with him.
This got me thinking... Company's looking to blog, need to consider the personality of the Blogger. Schilling has always been known for his willingness to speak his mind and take a stance. He is not afraid to be controversial and forthcoming with his opinions. As a popular athlete, these comments have occasionally caused him some grief and considering his standing in MLB, being opinionated is quite the risk as fans can be fickle. Businesses need to take a similar approach.
Sometimes, the CEO is not the best person to blog about your company. Although this tactic has worked well for Sun Microsystems' Jonathan Schwartz, it won't always work for everyone. Having worked with several CEO's from small to global organizations, it has become apparent that the people who achieve the greatest success are the bloggers who are 1) open, 2) Opinionated, and 3) Have personality.
If you're an organization looking to start a blog about your company and have tapped the CEO as the author, consider whether or not he/she is willing to share their opinions and discuss topics that may not be relevant to your business. People will keep reading your blog because it entertains them AND provides them with information and content that interests them. If your blog only talks about your product, service or company, don't have false expectations that your blog will achieve "Long Tail" status.
It will be interesting to see how Curt Schilling manages his blog during the season, but if he is able to blog twice a week and respond to a few comments here and there, CEO's, CMO's and the rest of upper management should consider whether using their "busy schedule" as an excuse not to blog is legitimate. If Curt can blog frequently during a 162 game season and his meticulous attention to capturing data on competing teams, you too, should be able to find a moment here or there.