Sunday, November 12, 2006

Private letters turn into Public Conversations- Sun and the SEC

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Debbie Weil from BlogWrite for CEOs had a post this week about the SEC's (Securities Exchange Commission) Chairman Christopher Cox's comments on Schwartz's original blog post. (although i thought the rule is you comment on the original topic post?). I illustrate the conversation on the right in case this ping-pong- sentence got you confused but also to illustrate how by responding to Schwartz's post- the SEC has decided to engage the public and take advantage of the same power that the original post pointed to.

The topic of the conversation between them was the fact that the Regulation for Fair Disclosure in the US - which attempts to ensure no one audience gets preferential access to material non-public information- does not recognize the internet and therefore a blog as the exclusive vehicle through which the public can be fairly informed.

The blog post to the SEC was Schwartz telling them that a letter was on the way-but why wait when he could just as well post the entire letter on his blog and the comment from Cox- was telling Schwartz a letter was on the way but why wait to receive it because Cox can just post the response in the comments field. At least the post office didn't lose any revenue as they had to deliver the orginal letters.

Debbie Weil thinks : "
the real problem here is that if companies transmit their earnings releases via a blog post, that obviates the need for mainstream media to "announce" the news to investors." I don't think it will obviate anything soon and not sure if it is a problem that MSM is not already addressing- and when and if it ever does- it is not because blogs are the new medium to "announce" the news to investors- but the distribution medium itself would change to enable a blog to be the initiating point of distribution (publisher)- mainstream media may not need to wait for an 'official' press release to come out and they may not be the first to comment on the news-but they like the mail delivery service that delivered the original letters will be another source of record depending on the consumer of that information.

That is the power of social media tools- enhancement of the creation, distribution and consumption of information.

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