Are We Web 2.0? â€" The Blog

Last Updated Aug 27, 2007 9:58 AM EDT

Blogs are so often associated with teenagers grousing about their tortured high-school lives or tech geeks indulging their vanity by touting inflated page-view numbers. But a blog is nothing more than a quick and simple way to share what's on your mind with others -- and a great way for colleagues to check in on you or to get a quick sense for how you view the world around you.

For this reason, blogging has become increasingly popular with executives, many of whom are too busy, too polite or too humble to ramble on at length about their interests to colleagues. But these insights can be of tremendous value in personalizing the boss, showing that he does have some activity upstairs and that he may even have an compelling take on things. Revelations like that serve to keep team members inspired and aware that up and down the pay scale we're not really all that different.

Take the example of storage systems and software maker Network Appliance and its founder and executive vice president Dave Hitz. Besides being able to take advantage of a cool blogger aptronym, Hitz uses his digital soapbox to give his two cents on industry innovations, technological advances and business practices, all on a blog that sits in a prominent place on the company website.

As Hitz succinctly and amusingly explains in his first post, "A big part of my job is listening to smart people who know about storage, digesting what they say and reflecting on it, and then turning that into my own opinion--So why am I doing a blog? I figured that if I'm going to be having ideas and sharing them, I might as well collect them in one place."

He's not the only company honcho in the blogosphere. GM and Oracle are among the growing number of brand-name corporations that have launched blogs for their top executives.

Beyond execs, most any team could benefit from the unique take of their subject matter experts, amateur comedians and traveling salesman/storytellers. Posts can help team members stay informed, excited about the company vision, and in tune with their coworkers. Sure beats having them obsessing over celebrity gossip sites and fantasy sports.