Friday, October 5, 2007

Larry Weber and the Case of the Phantom Blog

I was meeting with an entrepreneur today, and Larry Weber's name came up.

Weber is the PR guru who started The Weber Group, now Weber Shandwick, one of the world's biggest PR firms (and a unit of the Interpublic Group.)

This entrepreneur mentioned that he thought Larry had a blog. I bet him $100 that Larry doesn't have a blog.

Larry, do I win?

Even though Larry published a book this past summer called, "Marketing to the Social Web: How Digital Customer Communities Build Your Business," I think the guy does not have a blog.

Even though Larry writes on page 23, "Senior executive blogs ... can help establish industry thought leadership," I think the guy, now chairman of the W2 Group, does not have a blog.

Even though one of the companies within the W2 Group, Digital Influence Group, touts its ability to help companies go "out on the web to engage in conversations in the blogosphere and communities," I think the guy does not have a blog.

Digital Influence Group does have a blog, but it's not written by Larry.

Is this a case of the cobbler's children not having socks? (Larry is well-known for his penchant for baring his ankles.)

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Blogger Scott said...

I was actually at a meeting with Larry on Wednesday and he stated outright that CEOs, by and large, should not blog. According to Larry, the conversations should be happening at lower levels of the organization where the action is.

Not so sure I agree with him on that, since top-down decisions can change the entire culture of an organization, but I understood where he was coming from. One would hope that a CEO blog isn't simply an executive dictating notes and the corporate communications department handling all of the comments.

I'm hoping to debate Larry on this topic soon - just not on his non-existent blog.

October 5, 2007 4:14 PM  
Anonymous Bryan Person, said...


I heard Larry himself say on Wednesday that he does not have a blog. He was giving a presentation at a Social Media Breakfast that I had organized and that was hosted by the Digital Influence Group, a company that Larry is the chairman of.

Larry mentioned during his presentation that he doesn't believe CEOs should blog.

Here's a post from John Cass that includes a reference to Larry's non-blogging:

October 5, 2007 4:15 PM  
Blogger Scott Kirsner said...

Yeah, but should authors blog to promote their books?

Paul Gillin also wrote a book this year on social media, "The New Influencers," and he has a blog here:

Just for a kick, I looked up the two books' relative sales ranks today. Paul's book is #4,751 on Amazon; Larry's is #5,436. (Obviously, not a giant difference, but still, a difference.)

October 5, 2007 4:32 PM  
Blogger Scott Kirsner said...

Racepoint Group, another of Larry's companies, also has a blog, a reader tells me:

But Larry doesn't blog there, either.

Is there someone who is willing to help him figure out how to get onto the Information Superhighway?

October 5, 2007 4:42 PM  
Anonymous Toby said...

So Larry doesn't have a blog. So Larry, the CEO, doesn't believe CEOs should blog. But the non participant in social media has written a book about social media. Perhaps another important issue is: Can a person who is not active in the space be positioned as a credible thought leader (and author)?

October 5, 2007 11:08 PM  
Blogger Paul Gillin said...

The Amazon ranking system is not a terribly reliable indicator of success. I've seen my book move as much as 10,000 places in a single day. It's also hard to measure a direct cause and effect between a blog and a book's success. Larry doesn't blog, but he’s very visible and outspoken, so he might say he doesn't really need to blog. Those of us who are less well-known need all the help we can get.:-)

The blog was enormously helpful for me in writing the book because I posted chapters in draft form as I completed them. The comments from readers were great, and I think the buzz carried over into some early favorable reviews in the blogosphere by people who otherwise would never have heard of the blog. At one point, my traffic soared on a single link from Steve Rubel and settled back at a level about five times higher than before. I thought this was a great example of how influence is disseminated in the blogosphere and even included a sidebar about that experience in the book.

October 6, 2007 8:50 AM  

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