Do CEO bloggers build community?

Richard Vidgen (Department of Management Systems, Hull University, Hull, UK)
Julian Mark Sims (School of Business, Economics and Informatics, Birkbeck, University of London, London, UK)
Philip Powell (School of Business, Economics and Informatics, Birkbeck, University of London, London, UK)

Journal of Communication Management

ISSN: 1363-254X

Publication date: 11 November 2013

Abstract

Purpose

Chief executives (CEOs) have turned to blogging. This research asks: do CEO blogs attract commenters leading to genuine discussion and community building?

Design/methodology/approach

The 30 most popular CEO blogs are analysed, community structure is graphically represented using social network analysis, measuring cohesion using connectedness. A review of content assesses whether richness and type of media affect community building.

Findings

By modelling a CEO blog as an affiliation network the structure is exposed. Community cohesiveness is assessed using a measure of connectedness. The connectedness ranking differs from the original Technorati Rank (TR) although the top blog in both is the same. Community building relates more to external reputation, writing style or topicality than to the type of media used.

Practical implications

CEO bloggers must engage commenters to build community. TR and connectedness scores measure different things but both affect community building. CEO blogs with high community scores post regularly, attract many comments and have an active core membership that bind the community. Top scoring CEO blogs build community and stimulate genuine discussion. Mid ranking blogs have little cross-post commenting and a fragmented network. Others attract few comments with low connectedness. “Wilderness” blogs may have no commenters. This suggests inefficient use of valuable CEO time. Because CEO credibility affects CEO blog success, a low-ranking blog depreciates CEO's reputation indicating little social capital.

Originality/value

There is little research into CEO blogging, this research contributes to the understanding of CEO blogging and community building.

Keywords

Citation

Vidgen, R., Mark Sims, J. and Powell, P. (2013), "Do CEO bloggers build community?", Journal of Communication Management, Vol. 17 No. 4, pp. 364-385. https://doi.org/10.1108/JCOM-08-2012-0068

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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