The budding blogs of business
By Nick Easen for CNN
Some corporations post a weekly bulletin on their Intranet, now execs are uploading their own to the Web.
(CNN) -- There are more than four million web logs on the Internet, and as the number grows executive bloggers are joining in.
While some talk about business and networking, others are speaking out against their bosses, their company or profession.
"Five years ago if you wanted to slag off your boss you did it over a pint and a couple of whiskies," says IT analyst Azeem Azhar. "Today you stick it up on your blog."
Alan Meckler, CEO of JupiterMedia, which provides information for the IT sector, has been keeping a blog since February and has already upset some in his industry.
"I'm a bit provocative in the way I write which I think is the key to a good blog," he says.
Blogs are popular in the technology, marketing, media and law sectors, with professionals using them to connect with suppliers, customers and employees.
"You can find blogs on everything from 'special forces' to 'business continuity,'" said Margaret Stead of Careersnet.com.
Others use blogs as a tool to develop their careers and promote themselves.
"A blog is the perfect platform for someone who really is trying to establish themselves as a thought leader," said Web analyst Rick Bruner.
"There is somebody at your company doing it today, I can almost assure you."
Microsoft has taken a benevolent attitude to blogging. But it balked when an employee revealed on his blog how the company had taken delivery of a shipment of Apple computers. He was quickly relieved of his duties.
But there could be a fine line between personal and company views, with some blogs now used for corporate promotion.
"The blog provides a very human side to the corporate face beyond press releases, or a Web page or a corporate brochure," said Tom Murphy of CapeClear Software.
-- CNN's Andrew Carey contributed to this report