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I have previously written about blogging and Regulation FD, which is a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulation that requires egalitarian dissemination of substantive news that could affect the share price. On the face of it, blogs and RSS are the perfect way to allow perfectly equal access to news by everyone. Yet this is not allowed by current SEC regulations. So Jonathan Schwartz, CEO of Sun Microsystems, has written to Christopher Cox, the chaiman of the SEC, to ask him to change the regulations to allow blogs and similar tools to be used for disclosure of substantive news. He says that previous conversations with Cox indicate this will be heard with receptive ears. Schwartz has of course disclosed this on this own blog, together with the full letter to Cox. If this change is approved, this will be an enormous boost for blogs, because it will mean investors and intermediaries will have to monitor the blogs of public company officers, and it will allow company directors to disclose substantive information on their blogs, in turn reducing the governance issues of corporate blogging. It makes all the sense in the world to use the power of RSS to disseminate information – this in fact would be a significant improvement to current mechanisms – so with just a tiny variation in the regulations on what are appropriate ways of disseminating corporate information, blogging could become quite a different world, with the development a thoroughly corporate segment of the blogosphere focused on egalitarian diffusion of investor information, and by-the-by, resulting a deeper and broader view of public company activities, and better informed investors.

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  • http://joeduck.wordpress.com Joseph Hunkins

    Excellent points. It will also be interesting to see the first of inevitable lawsuits where bloggers seek to manipulate share prices without disclosing their investments.

  • http://www.irwebreport.com/ Dominic Jones

    Think this through for a minute. How does RSS ensure that information is disseminated simultaneously to all? It cannot.
    You say, “it will mean investors and intermediaries will have to monitor the blogs of public company officers.”
    Why should I have to? This makes my life as an investor more difficult, not easier.

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Ross Dawson is globally recognized as a leading futurist, entrepreneur, keynote speaker, strategy advisor, and bestselling author. He is Founding Chairman of AHT Group, which consists of 3 companies: consulting, publishing, and ventures firm Advanced Human Technologies, future and strategy firm Future Exploration Network, and events company The Insight Exchange.

Ross is author most recently of Getting Results From Crowds, the prescient Living Networks, which anticipated the social network revolution, the Amazon.com bestseller Developing Knowledge-Based Client Relationships, and Implementing Enterprise 2.0. (click on the links for free chapter downloads). He is based in Sydney and San Francisco with his wife jewellery designer Victoria Buckley and two beautiful young daughters.

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