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Gill Blog

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Naked Conversations

How Blogs are Changing the Way Businesses Talk with Customers—a book by Shel Israel and Robert Scoble, provocatively titled Naked Conversations, is virtually flying off the shelves of

One of our favorite business bloggers, Richard Edelman, bought 243 copies online to give to his senior managers. Edelman is the president and CEO of the world's largest independent public relations firm, with 1800 employees in 40 offices worldwide. And he's one of a growing number of C-level executives who appreciate the benefits of corporate blogs and company bloggers.

Here's an excerpt from Naked Conversations quoted on
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.

Should you read Naked Conversations? Michael Mclaughlin, of Mill Valley, CA USA, reviewing the book on, says,
The short answer to that question is yes.

Don't miss this book even if you and/or your organization haven't yet jumped into the blogosphere.

Scoble and Israel hammer home the point that blogging and other forms of social media are transforming how businesses communicate with customers, suppliers, and all their constituencies.

But this isn't a one-sided, navel-gazing tome on the virtues of blogging. This book is full of hard-hitting advice from dozens of successful bloggers on what makes some blogs work and others flame out.

The book itself is like a blog on steroids, but with a natural thread through the topics that leads the reader easily from one subject to the next. It's more of a conversation than a traditional book.

Throughout the case studies, the authors let the voices of the bloggers shine through, giving the reader a sense of the issues each company faced. When the authors agree or disagree with how a business handled a situation, they let you know-in a civilized way.

Scoble and Israel boil down their research and experience to help businesses understand the nuts and bolts of blogging without going geeky on the reader. They've got eleven tips for a successful blog, how to blog your way through a crisis, and an update of Scoble's Corporate Weblog Manifesto.

Make no mistake-this is a business book. If you're blogging now, read it for the hundreds of insights you'll uncover. If your organization isn't blogging, use this book as a discussion starter for deciding whether blogging is right for your company.

Does your company belong in the blogosphere? Katherine Heires, in an article on the Harvard Business School Working Knowledge website, says blogging helps a company and its executives:
Influence the public "conversation" about your company: Make it easy for journalists to find the latest, most accurate information about new products or ventures. In the case of a crisis, a blog allows you to shape the conversation about it.

Enhance brand visibility and credibility: Appear higher in search engine rankings, establish expertise in industry or subject area, and personalize one's company by giving it a human voice.

Achieve customer intimacy: Speak directly to consumers and have them come right back with suggestions or complaints—or kudos.

The article goes on to recommend that companies maximize the use of blogs by having a distinct focus and goal, and an "authentic" voice that doesn't smack of a PR department, creating a "conversation" that allows readers to comment.


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