Today, another case history from the fascinating book I’m reading on business blogging, Naked Conversations by Robert Scoble and Shel Israel. This one concerns the power of blogs to transform events in real time.
In April 2002, Joe Nacchio, the CEO of Qwest Communications International, was speaking at a prestigious PC Forum industry conference. As Nacchio was complaining about his difficulty in raising capital, two active bloggers in the audience were blogging about the event in real time.
Buzz Bruggeman, a fellow blogger and industry follower not attending the conference, happened to read both blogs almost in the moment. He instantly shot back a link to a Yahoo! Finance web page showing that Nacchio had recently dumped more than $200 million in his company’s stock while prices were dropping under his watch.
The two bloggers at the conference both posted this revelation. According to the event host, at about this point, the audience turned hostile. Evidently conference attendees were not only blogging about the event in real time, but other attendees were reading the blogs in real time.
From that point on, Nacchio found a more hostile press, and a few months later, resigned amid rumors of insider trading. He was subsequently convicted.
The outcome may have been the same regardless of the events that transpired at the conference, but clearly Bruggeman hastened the process with one simple blog post from 2,000 miles away. And that was more than six years ago – long before blogs have the traction they do today!