The age of the open kimono

So what about all these executive bloggers? Are we going to see posts with headlines like "Boy, I really screwed that one up," or "Think they should fire me for this one?"

Men in Kimonos from Kyotokimono.com
The idea of the open kimono has become a financial cliche the last few years. (KyotoKimono makes a fine line of kimonos to fit occidentals on purpose.)

To open the kimono means you're being transparent, that you're telling us the straight story, that these numbers can be trusted.

The last few years have been the Age of the Open Kimono, at least in the financial press. All kinds of executives are blogging like journalists do, sometimes on their own sites, sometimes right here.

As the good times have rolled in open source, this has given us all a front-row seat to what we imagine to be the thinking of real business leaders, as they play their chess games on the open source industry board.

But will this continue when the times get tough? That's the real test of transparency in journalism. Win, lose or draw, journalists are supposed to give you the straight story.

When business times get tough this gets tough, even for real journalists. Advertisers pile on the pressure, demanding that their spin substitute for reality. Sometimes publishers give in, sometimes they don't, and sometimes in not giving in they fail.

So what about all these executive bloggers? Are we going to see posts with headlines like "Boy, I really screwed that one up," or "Think they should fire me for this one?"

I'm not holding my breath. 

There's plenty of reason for suspicion, sports fans. Once Bill Parcells got close to his dream job with Miami, the Tuna clammed up.

This doesn't upset me. On the contrary it shows a highly-developed ethical sense. You won't see me talking about what goes on at ZDNet, or at my wife's employer, either.

the Black Knight, from Monty Python and the Holy Grail
But when you're fighting for your corporate life it's got to be tempting to spin things away, to send the speculation in another direction, to smile and claim it's just a scratch, even when you find yourself becoming the black knight.

You don't want to open the kimono when you're bleeding. Remember that when times get tougher.

Newsletters

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
See All
See All