In a sign of possible changes afoot Christopher Cox, the new Chairmen of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, is mulling over using corporate weblogs as a venue for publishing financial statements and other key content required to fulfill SEC regulations. Interestingly enough, Cox made this statement on his own new SEC weblog, according to AP. While the SEC is no stranger to online innovation, this is a potentially huge step towards positioning weblogs and syndicated weblog feeds as a major component in the fabric of financial content outlets. The system of relying on established press release channels for these disclosures still serves a general purpose for corporations wanting a prioritized queue of content for editorial desks and securities traders using real-time news feeds, but for more general investors and analysts the performance of an RSS feed will be more than adequate in many instances.
The likely use of weblog feeds for SEC-mandated disclosures will accelerate the trend towards corporations managing their own PR channels more directly than in the past. As users learn to aggregate content themselves far more effectively and corporations gain confidence in the simplicity and reliability of self-syndicating feeds the need for premium press release services is becoming more specialized - and questionable. Except a high level of enthusiasm for this proposed deployment of key corporate content from corporations looking to simplify disclosure compliance requirements - and plenty of worried looks from press release distributors trying to come up with more value-add services to justify their costly premium services.