Last month, Schwartz talked about how he would like to use his blog to disclose material information to the public (i.e., earnings reports, material transactions, etc.) However, he noted that federal regulations do not provide guidance on whether he would be able to do so via his blog. Curious about what the response of the SEC would be to his proposal, he wrote a letter to Christopher Cox, chairman of the agency, about this issue. In the letter Schwartz said:
“Our corporate website (www.sun.com) currently receives on average of nearly a million hits per day. This website includes a blog that I write as CEO of Sun Microsystems (www.blogs.sun.com/jonathan), as well as the blogs of over 4,000 of our other employees. My blog is syndicated across the Internet by use of RSS technology; thus, its content is "pushed" to subscribers. This website is a tremendous vehicle for the broad delivery of timely and robust information about our company. The Commission should make clear that options such as adequately noticed website postings, fully accessible webcasts and electronic mail alerts would satisfy [government regulations].”
Interestingly, Cox decided to respond to Schwartz’s letter via the Sun CEO’s blog. In his comment, Cox said that the idea of disclosing material information on blogs is interesting. However, before doing a company have to ensure that people could easily access the information regardless of their level of technology.
The Implications For Healthcare
The online conversation between Cox and Schwartz has interesting implications for healthcare companies. If the SEC encourages firms to use blogs and other technologies to help investors and the public access information, it might accelerate uptake of these communications vehicles. It would also help executives better understand the utility of these technologies and aid them in efforts to provide valuable and relevant content to their stakeholders.
More On Corporate Blogging: Backbone Media/Northeastern Study
In other news, Backbone Media, blogging expert John Cass and Northeastern University recently released the results of the Blogging Success Survey. The study was designed to “determine the reasons, conditions and factors that make a blog successful, and to create a list of criteria to help companies assess whether and how they should engage in blogging.” The researchers identified five factors that contribute to the success of a corporate blog. They are:
• Entertaining Writing Style
Click here to learn more about this study.