Earlier this week, amidst no fanfare, storage giant EMC entered the CxO blogosphere with an initial entry by its senior vice president and chief development officer (CDO?) Mark Lewis. The blog infrastructure appears to have been outsourced to SixApart's TypePad blogging service.
I spoke with Lewis briefly about his new "responsibility" and whether or not he'd be able to stay engaged in the blogosphere and he said that, given his opinions and that he had no shortage of things to say, he didn't think it would be a problem. Lewis apparently dove into the blogosphere at the suggestion of EMC's marketing department and Lewis says that he thinks he'll be able to write with suprisingly little interference and red tape (though he acknowledged the legal eagles might be paying close attention given that EMC is a public company). Wrote Lewis on his blog:
This is new for me - Blogging that is. The Marketing folks wanted me to do it but, like many companies these days, I just figured this would fall into the legal abyss and never come out. Too much risk they would say. I thought I was off the hook but I was wrong; they actually pulled it off...Is this a corporate Blog? NO. As the Chief Development Officer (which really means "Head Strategy Guy") will my views reflect things we are doing at EMC - YES. At least I hope so or they will start looking for a new strategy guy:-).....I would like to comment on technologies and trends, offer some perspectives and provide a deeper thought process that went into many of the strategies and acquisitions that evolved for EMC. People will often label me a "technologist" but I don't consider myself one at all. I like to think of myself as simply a matchmaker but just not with people. There are so many problems to be solved and so many things we can do better. On ther other side there are so many great new things being invented every day. I view my job is simply matching ideas with the needs - aren't we all just in sales.
Lewis' first entry also talks a little bit about his personal life and his dogs but spends no time on anything substantive regarding EMC. For example, he could have used the opportunity to offer some insider thoughts on EMC's acquisition of Network Intelligence (announced on the same day the blog launched). I like to track vendor blogs, so I'll be subscribing to his RSS feed (which is probably here, the blog currently has no subscribe link -- a problem which is sure to be corrected shortly).
Lewis won't be the only EMC executive to start blogging. According to company spokesperson Dave Farmer, other CxO blogs will launch as well, including one from EMC chief technology officer Jeffrey Nick. As those blogs launch, I'll probably subscribe to them too. But for how long? I'm not sure. It depends on what sort of thought they provoke and whether they're able to keep it up. Last April, amidst a flurry of activity in the virtualization businesses that was not exactly pro-VMWare, Diane Green who is president of EMC subsidiary VMWare launched her blog with one entry and hasn't made a post since. Unsubscribed.