Me and who??

I guess this should be “Who and I??” or “Me and whom??” But I’m too jetlagged to figure out the correct syntax for a question that is really a quiet shriek of dismay. How on earth could my little blog be listed as a model with Jonathan Schwartz’s? And by Debbie Weil, no less, who’s just got a book out on the subject? Schwartz is CEO of, get this, Sun Microsystems. I am CEO of a small–hey, tiny–publishing company that, yes, has grand global efforts underway, but is a speck on the corporate radar.

I just arrived in Amsterdam, did my yoga routine and even practiced my headstand (I’m getting there), and only then logged on to check e-mail. I desperately need a good long nap before the conference I’m here for–and here to speak at tomorrow–begins because I returned home from China at 3am Sunday morning, had two days in Massachusetts, and flew here last night. My body clock is spinning wildly. But now I know why a journalist in the Silicon Valley called me yesterday as I was en route to Logan to interview me about my blog.

More shortly! Lots to report about final days in China, what’s going on at our office in Great Barrington, and then about the first Global Information Industry Summit.

Sun CEO Among the Few Chiefs Who Blog


The Associated Press

Saturday, September 16, 2006; 10:45 PM

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — At the helm of Sun Microsystems Inc., Jonathan Schwartz became “un blogeur” last week when he started publishing his blog in French and nine other languages.

Schwartz, whose Web journal attracts 50,000 viewers each month, says going international will generate new customers and attract prospective employees in Europe, China and elsewhere. That puts the 40-year- old CEO at the vanguard of a trend in corporate communications, one that tears down barriers between executives and the general public.

“The blog has become for me the single most effective vehicle to communicate to all of our constituencies

_ developers, media, analysts and shareholders,” Schwartz said in his Silicon Valley office. “When I go out and have dinner with a key analyst on Wall Street or a key investor from Europe and ask them if they’ve read my blog, they almost universally say yes.”

Chief executives of smaller companies have already seized on blogs, and big companies are increasingly joining in _ despite the potential for disastrous backfires.…

How much time executives spend blogging vary, but few seem to update more than once a week. Some executives _ including Whole Foods Market CEO John Mackey _ do little beyond posting excerpts from public speeches and press releases.

GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz’s “Fast Lane” blog includes entries from other GM executives and links to his favorite German and French auto enthusiast sites. Lutz’s site has generated 10,000 reader responses since January 2005 and, along with a smaller GM corporate blog, gets 4,000 to 6,000 unique daily visitors.

The blog allows the Swiss-born executive to write directly to hard-core motorheads around the world. More than 900 readers asked Lutz, who oversees product development, to revive the Chevrolet Camaro. GM said last month it would develop a new Camaro based on a concept car unveiled in January.… Karen Christensen, CEO of Great Barrington, Mass.-based Berkshire Publishing Group, says the blog gives colleagues a sense of her long hours and concern for details, making book reviewers – her harshest critics – consider her work in new light. “I had a reviewer write to me and say, ‘I never knew there were real people behind this,'” Christensen said.

The publishing industry is rife with bloggers, including Macmillan Publishers Ltd. CEO Richard Charkin, whose “Chark Blog” includes slice-of-life entries from the British executive.…

“Mainstream communication is horrible at serving niches,” Schwartz said. “This is a good way to take the expertise around Sun, which can be pretty esoteric, and ensure it’s available to the marketplace.”

On the Net:

© 2006 The Associated Press