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Naked Conversations: How Blogs are Changing the Way Businesses Talk with Customers Hardcover – January, 2006
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About the Authors:
Robert Scoble helps run Microsofts Channel 9 Web site. He began his blog in 2000 and now has more than 3.5 million readers every year. Scobles blog has earned acclaim in Fortune magazine, Fast Company, and The Economist.
Shel Israel played a key strategic role in introducing some of technologys most successful products, including PowerPoint, FileMaker, and Sun Microsystems workstations.Hes been an expert on innovation for more than twenty years.
An Excerpt from Naked Conversations:
Bloggings's Six Pillars: There are six key differences between blogging and any other communications channel. You can find any of them elsewhere. These are the Six Pillars of Blogging:
1.Publishable.Anyone can publish a blog.You can do it cheaply and post often. Each posting is instantly available worldwide.
2.Findable. Through search engines, people will find blogs by subject, by author, or both. The more you post, the more findable you become.
3.Social. The blogosphere is one big conversation. Interesting topical conversations move from site to site, linking to each other. Through blogs, people with shared interests build relationships unrestricted by geographic borders.
4.Viral. Information often spreads faster through blogs than via a newsservice. No form of viral marketing matches the speed and efficiency of a blog.
5.Syndicatable. By clicking on an icon, you can get free "home delivery" of RSS- enabled blogs into your e-mail software. RSS lets you know when a blog you subscribe to is updated, saving you search time. This process is considerably more efficient than the last- generation method of visiting one page of one web site at a time looking for changes.
6.Linkable. Because each blog can link to all others, every blogger has access to the tens of millions of people who visit the blogosphere every day.
You can find each of these elements elsewhere. None is, in itself, all that remarkable. But in final assembly, they are the benefits of the most powerful two-way Internet communications tool so far developed.Other Blogging Books
Blogging For Dummies
Buzz Marketing with Blogs For Dummies
Publishing a Blog with Blogger
From Publishers Weekly
For the past five years, Microsoft employee Scoble has maintained one of the most popular blogs on the Internet. Mixing personal notes with passionate, often-controversial commentary on technology and business, his blog is "naked"—i.e., not filtered through his employer's marketing or public relations department—a key part of its appeal. In this breezy book, Scoble and coauthor Israel argue that every business can benefit from smart "naked" blogging, whether the company's a smalltown plumbing operation or a multinational fashion house. "If you ignore the blogosphere... you won't know what people are saying about you," they write. "You can't learn from them, and they won't come to see you as a sincere human who cares about your business and its reputation." To bolster their argument, Scoble and Israel have assembled an enormous amount of information about blogging: from history and theory to comparisons among countries and industries. They also lay out the dos and don'ts of the medium and include extensive statistics, dozens of case studies and several interviews with famous bloggers. They consider the darker aspects of blogging as well—including the possibility of getting fired by an unsympathetic employer. For companies that have already embraced blogging, this book is an essential guide to best practice. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Top Customer Reviews
Author, "Trust is Everything: Become the leader others will follow"
I've been a late recruit to the Blogosphere, but I'm now lapping up everything that I can find. One of the most fascinating things to someone who's taught neurology for years, is the way in which links are developing in almost exactly the same way as occurs in the developing brain, and the same principles apply in the Blogosphere, and in the brain of mature individuals as they learn new information.
This book starts with a quick overview of why blogging is becoming such an important part of our lives, and then we're off. We get straight into tons of practical advice.
Although I'm an admitted newbie, I think that even experienced users will likely find a lot to interest them here.
The book identifies eleven tips on how to Blog, with a nice section on each:
1. Get found easily
2. Read and comment on blogs before starting your own
3. Keep if simple and focused
4. Show passion
5. Demonstrate authority
6. Allow comments (Not everyone does, but the authors are quite right in saying that a good blog is a conversation)
7. Be accessible
8. Tell a compelling personal story
9. "Be linky"
10. Build real world relationships
11. Use your referrer log
All of this is sage advice, and the book contains loads more.
By the way, it's also a fun read: so naturally, it is highly recommended!
While the authors enthusiasm for something they themselves do well can be understood, their perspective is limited. For example, they cite Apple and Google among companies that discourage employees from maintaining blogs. The author's attitude is that "some cultures are open and others closed." Frankly it appears Scoble and Israel have no conception of all the legal reasons why organizations may choose to discourage blogging. Trade secret, security, privacy, harassment, international laws all must be scrupulously observed to protect a company against potential liability and unless platoons of lawyers are to be employed merely to review proposed blog postings, many companies are well advised to discourage employees from posting.
Thus, the authors threat that companies that discourage blogging "will be perceived in the public eye as less interesting or relevant than those that do" is humorous as well as misinformed.
Claims such as "[b]logging is cheaper and more effective than most marketing programs in use today" are simply unsupportable, though the authors do cite a couple of examples. But exceptions do not make a rule.
Scoble and Israel fully admit to their personal enthusiasm for blogging and they are indeed believers as every page makes clear. They do present a solid framework for business blogging with lots of solid tips for those sticking a toe in the blogging waters.
But on the whole, blogs are simply one more tool for organizations to consider. For many companies (and, particularly, individuals), blogging may make a substantial difference - but, as with everything else, for most it won't.
Given all my reservations, I would still recommend that managers at least give this book a fast read, just to stay current with blogging and what the buzz is all about.
On the Flight down, I read Naked Coversations by Shel Isreal and Robert Scoble. I had heard Shel speak at the Association of Internet Marketers. I always like reading books from authors I have heard speak.
It is an excellent book. I am passionate about business blogs. I truly believe they have value for a business. The book re-affirms this. Naked Coversations is easy to read, fast and well organized. It combines advice on blogging (and why blogs help companies) with stories of real bloggers.
Blogs have dangers but those dangers tend to be over rated. Not blogging is a greter danger. As I have said many times, blogs are a new media. Companies that ignore it do so at great peril. At the same time, blogs cannot be blatant self or company promotion - readers (and other bloggers see right through that and can decimate a company).
This book ranks an 8 out of 10 on the Jim Estill Scale (and I am a tough marker). How do I know if a book is good? If I make a change as a result. I turned off word verification on my blog to make it easier to comment (I still review all comments and don't let spam through but am trying to make it easier to have a conversation). I get twice as many emails as comments on my blog as a result of my blog. The book drives home that comments and coversations are good.
I also know a book is good if I buy multiple copies for people that I think should read it. And in this case I did.