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Here are some questions a number of Human Resources Directors and Heads of Leadership are aksing today:

Should our CEO start a blog?
Do our top three competitor CEOs have blogs?
Are these competitor CEO blogs a corporate communications play or does the CEO really post about significant issues?

Interesting questions to ponder as more companies begin experimenting with social media to build their brand with consumers, improve two-way communications and increase vehicles for employee development.

To find out about what your competitor CEO’s are doing in terms of blogging, I recommend you go to TheNewPR CEOBlogsList Wiki.

To date, 58 of the Fortune 500 companies have blogs. But in most cases, the blogs are company blogs, many maintained by corporate communications departments (like Clorox, which has one that answers questions about stains), rather than CEOs penning their own blogs.

But there are notable exceptions and two CEOs come to mind that regularly post to their blogs. One is Jonathan Schwartz CEO of Sun Microsystems who posts on a regular basis about his interactions with customers around the world. The other is Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks and CEO of HDNet.

As you continue to research what strategy to adopt and to create a set of guidelines with regard company blogging, I recommend consulting a survey recently conducted by content security company, Clearswift.

The survey was conducted among 939 corporate decision-makers on matters related to corporate blogging, wiki’s and participation in online networks/forums and other aspects of the so-called Web 2.0. Some highlights from the survey found:

- 20 percent of IT and business decision-makers don’t have a policy governing appropriate use of the Internet, including social media sites.
- 39 percent of IT and business decision-makers consider social media to be relevant to today’s corporate environment, while 36 percent do not see social media as relevant to their businesses.
- 13 percent of organizations are not aware of social media and have no policy on it.

So before your begin to develop a policy for your human resources and/or corporate learning department regarding blogging, wikis and other social media, first find out your company policy regarding the usage of social media at work. For HR and corporate learning professionals, I find the Sun blog policy to be highly informative.

Finally, let’s continue a dialogue on CEOs as bloggers:

Should more CEOs be bloggers?
Should this be part of every CEO job in next 5 years?
Should reading the CEO's blog be part of every New Hire Orienation Program?
Should CEO bloggers participate as part of a corporate communications strategy or use blogging to begin a "real" dialogue with customers?
What is the new role of the Human Resource and Corporate Learning departments? How about developing new guidelines? Should blogs be internally focused or externally focused?

Thanks and I await your comments.

Jeanne C Meister

Founder, New Learning Playbook