Should the CIO be blogging?

Several companies do an excellent job of integrating blogs into their communications infrastructures. Blogs at those companies become healthy platforms for collaboration as well as powerful tools for self-expression.

But should you, the CIO, have a blog? Is it worth the time, effort and risk? Yes, of course. Every C-level executive who has to manage expectations, strategic direction, morale, uncertainty, risk and people’s time should most certainly be doing a blog. Not doing one will become much like not doing e-mail — a willful failure to communicate that sends a message all its own.

In time, C-level blogging will be as prevalent as C-level speeches, telecons and PowerPoint presentations. These blogs may not be done well, but how well they’re done will say volumes about the executive’s style and substance, or lack thereof.

As ostensible leaders of digital innovation within their organizations, CIOs should be at the leading, not bleeding, edge of these emerging media. As C-level business leaders, they should be living examples — and yes, experiments — of using digital tools to become more effective executives.

Whether you, or your enterprise, wants to take a “let a thousand bloggers bloom” approach is up to you. You can be as top-down or as bottom-up as you feel is best for the firm. Asking people in your shop to propose blogging guidelines is an excellent exercise in participatory management and design.

–Michael Schrage is a codirector of the MIT Media Lab’s eMarkets Initiative.