Naked Conversations: How Blogs Are Changing the Way Businesses Talk with Customers

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Naked Conversations: How Blogs Are Changing the Way Businesses Talk with Customers es un libro de Robert Scoble and Shel Israel (Wiley, New York, 2006)

Successful blogger, Robert Scoble, and co-author Shel Israel, push businesses to blog and explain why it would benefit them. The “naked” in the title represents talking straight to the readers rather than filtering the blog’s contents through company public relations, lawyers, executives, and phoniness. The book starts with a foreword from Tom Peters and proceeds to show why blogging is an efficient way for businesses to communicate with customers, prospects and the world at large. The authors go back in time and give an overview of blogging’s history. Many examples appear to show how companies have benefited from blogging. Also included are interviews with the executive bloggers whose names appear in just about every article on business blogging: Mark Cuban, Bob Lutz, and Jonathan Schwartz. But they also talk with other lesser known business bloggers. The book has an easy to read and understand writing style so anyone who barely knows anything about blogging will be able to grasp it. The authors clearly point out the dos and don’ts when blogging. Not only do they cover how to blog, but also how to get involved in the conversations instead of doing things one-way (always talking and never listening). As a long-time blogger, I believe the tips and advice hit the bull’s eye. Those participating in blog conversations for over a year will most likely be familiar with many of the stories covered in the book. Even those who have been blogging benefit from the book especially the advice for how to do it right and make the most of blogging. I picked up a few things and I’ve been involved with blogging before its first application came to life. The book focuses on business blogging rather than those who treat it like a diary or a personal journal. But no matter the kind of blogger you are, remember that a future employer could find your blog. But what about those who haven’t been baptized in the world of blogging? This well-rounded book should give them all they need to get familiar with blogging and will save a lot of time. Those of us who started earlier had to learn through reading stories and trial and error. Learn how blogging has changed business communications and what strategies businesses should consider when diving into the world of blogging. I believe there are more reasons not to blog than what’s covered in chapter 9′s “The Thorns in the Roses.” This chapter could be expanded further as it practically says anyone can blog except people like Saddam Hussein, those in the security field, boring people, and those full of fear, uncertainty, and doubt. Just like anything in business, I believe that a company needs to evaluate whether or not a blog fits their model. However, it’s vital that companies follow the conversations and hear what’s said about their product, service, and industry. With this book, readers get a well-rounded overview of blogging and how to make it work for businesses even during times of a business crisis. Of course, blogging isn’t all rosy and the authors cover the dark side. Thanks to blogs, people have gotten fired, employees have shared company confidential information with the public, and companies’ reputations have gone downhill because they didn’t listen to the blogosphere (the blogging world). I recommend the book to any business that blogs, those considering it, and executives who don’t understand what the deal is with blogging. An employee who can’t convince upper management the virtues of blogging, or at least listening to the conversations, might be able to change their minds with this book’s help. For existing bloggers, the book is a great resource especially the last chapters that cover the problems with blogging, how to do it right, what not to do, and most important, how not to get fired for blogging.