Billg on Blogging

Billg is quoted today in this Business Week article on blogging at Microsoft - interesting bits below:

Q: Microsoft employees blog, and sometimes that creates great corporate benefits, but sometimes they air the company's dirty laundry. Speaking as chairman, do the benefits of employee blogging outweigh the risks?
One of these ones we do is very video-oriented, where a guy just goes around with a cheap digital camera and videos people that are working on Visual Studio [Microsoft's software for developers]. And they put that up as a channel, and that gets incredible viewership.

In fact, sometimes I do video interviews, and I'm talking with an outlet that's well less-viewed than the video on the Microsoft Web site. So I'm always saying, "Hey, why doesn't somebody interview me for that channel?" That one is watched many times a day and gets in a search engine.

Q: Sounds like something you might be able to work on?
Yeah, we're working on it. [Laughter.] But I'd say, overwhelmingly, blogging has been good. It does raise lots of issues. You used to have these spokespeople, and you could call them together in a room and say, "Make sure you don't give out the earnings before we're supposed to" and, "Don't tell everybody's salaries," or whatever it is that you wanted them to understand.

Well, now you have thousands of spokespeople, where speaking off the cuff is part of the whole charm of the thing. So you'll get into issues. But even just the blogging for internal use, where our people are seeing each other's blogs, has allowed groups to work together on a better basis.

Q: You've written up three test blogs. Is that something you're really seriously thinking about jumping into?
Well, my rate has proven to be irregular so far. And basically what they've said to me is that, if I turn out at least two a month for a while, then they'll put me online. I've often thought that I might, but so far I haven't.

Q: I'd think that you'd have some say in that matter.
I've got priorities. I've got to get past the writing.

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