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B2.0 On Blogging…

Nice piece in Business 2.0 on blogging featuring our very own Jonathan and James.

Have Blog, Will Market
Business 2.0, 9/30/04; Thomas Mucha

Jonathan Schwartz is a blogging addict. He is also the president and chief
operating officer of Sun Microsystems (SUNW) — a company at the forefront
of a new marketing and communications trend that mixes blogging with
business. (For the rapidly shrinking minority who don’t know what I’m
talking about, a weblog — or blog — is a personal journal on the Web
that’s devoted to politics, science, product reviews, or just about anything
else you can imagine.) In his corporate blog, Schwartz, naturally, covers
the world of Sun. In his latest entry, which focuses on a trip he took last
week to Wall Street, he juxtaposes snippets of his Manhattan dinner
conversations with Sun’s recent work on “radical form factor compression.”

The Sun president’s Web writing style — open, honest, ever geeky — is a
hit. Schwartz’s blog reaches more than 100,000 readers per month, a number
that has grown exponentially during the blog’s three-month existence. “I’m
stunned by the breadth of it,” he says. Surprise aside, it’s easy to see why
a busy bigwig like Schwartz might take the time to operate what some view as
a nerdish hobby. “It is an efficient way for me to have a focused,
one-on-one conversation with thousands of people — shareholders, customers,
employees, and the digerati that circle this industry,” Schwartz explains.

The blogging COO is not alone, even at his own company. Sun’s chief
technology officer, James Gosling, runs his own blog too. So do the
company’s top marketing manager, chief technology evangelist, and hundreds
of other lowly Sun employees. Technorati, a San Francisco-based company that
studies traffic on the emerging “blogosphere,” reports that today there are
about 5,000 serious corporate blogs that, like Sun’s, have the backing and
at least some participation of senior management. The blogging trend itself
is pretty mind-boggling: Technorati tracks more than 4 million blogs and
says a new one is created every 5.8 seconds. And a study by the Pew Internet
and American Life Project found that more than 53 million people — 11
percent of all Internet users — have read or contributed to blogs. So it’s
no surprise that marketers want a piece of the action.

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