Sunday, January 15, 2006

Naked Conversations excerpts

Naked Conversations


"Vaspers Buys Naked in Peoria"

"Stephen Streight buys
Naked Conversations in Peoria

(1) "At this point, the blogosphere is a better place to market your reputation than sell your goods, and in the end, that will prove more valuable." -- Chapter 6: "Consultants Who Get It", p. 84

(2) "Evidence is growing that a great portion of the Web is heading toward being RSS-enabled. This means that end users will soon be able to receive home delivery of information that covers a vastly wider circle than just the blogosphere". -- Chapter 14: "Emerging Technology", p. 215, 216

(3) "A good blog cannot just remain neutral, cautious, or tepid. People believe that portraits of companies without internal or external conflicts, ethical struggles, or product development setbacks are about as authentic as a rendering of Elvis on black velvet and as stimulating as a discussion of noncorrosive pipe at a plumbers' convention." -- Chapter 10: "Doing It Wrong", p. 164

(4) "A good sales executive will tell you that when she is talking and the prospect is listening passively, the deal probably won't happen. It's when the prospect engages the salesperson in dialogue demonstrating he is 'working the issue' that the sale becomes likely. In short, dialogue beats monologue." -- Chapter 9: "Thorns in the Roses", p.142

(5) "Blogging was born in an environment of anti-pitch sentiment. People visit blogs to see what others care about and know. Over time, they will either come to trust you or they won't. If you talk to them, they get to know you. If you sell to them, they'll just leave--if you're lucky. If you're not, the blogosphere will buzz with allegations that you are abusing the new communications channel. The adverse effects of this on your reputation may be more enduring than you might think." -- Chapter 5: "Little Companies, Long Reach", p. 79

Okay, that should whet your appetite, or wet your whistle, or get you to put on your winter coat and go to Barnes & Noble, or online at Amazon dot com, or wherever you like to obtain fine literature, and buy this Next Step After Cluetrain book, this treatise for the Multiphonic Communication Revolution, this revolutionary Manifesto for Blogosphere 4.0 ...

The best book on blogs
is now in bookstores:

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

by Shel Israel and Robert Scoble (forward by Tom Peters).

$24.95 USD

(John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2006)
ISBN-13 : 978-0-471-74719-2 (cloth)


Naked Conversations explains the why and how of blogging to business people.

It helps businesses strip away the layers of corpspeak (consisting of a mixture of bull, polish, and obfuscation) that prevent businesses and customers from really getting to know each other.

It shows businesses how to use blogs to have a meaningful dialog with customers and partners without layers of polish and shine that customers know obscure real meaning.

Using more than 50 interviews with people at all levels and in all sorts of businesses for case studies, it demystifies blogging, explaining why it is more efficient, credible and effective than traditional business communications tools.

Naked Conversations
explains the perfect storm conditions battering traditional marketing mixes of ads, PR, websites and collateral materials.

Blogging did not cause the situation but represents enormous promise of fixing what's broken, and in so doing, will bring companies and their constituencies closer together while improving the bottom line.

From this book, business and marketing decision makers will learn:

  • Blogging is not just another tactical communications distribution channel, but a new strategic medium that benefits both companies and customers
  • Why businesses of all sizes and in all places should blog
  • Why such traditional taboos such as praising competition or publicly discussing product prior to launch make sound business sense in today's new Conversational Era
  • How a poor understanding of blogs is costing one small specialty manufacturer $10 million in replacement products for disgruntled customers
  • How a reviled software giant is seeing a new public image ofopenness develop thanks to thousands of active employee blogs
  • What an outspoken NBA owner does with his blog to connect to team fans
  • What employers and employees should know about hiring and firing due to blogging and a code of ethics for blogging


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 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal

Scoble, a video blogger for Microsoft, and technology guru Israel have put together a bible for business bloggers.

Drawn from their own experiences, as well as from numerous comments posted to their blog (, they have produced a book with the conversational style of blogs.

Starting with a brief history of "Word-of-Mouth" products such as the ICQ global instant messaging service and web browser Firefox, and placing blogging firmly in this context, they state that blogs are "Word-of-Mouth on Steroids."

Included are interviews with company bloggers from the technology industry, of course, but also from various other businesses.

Scoble and Israel outline the right and the wrong ways to blog in a business context (e.g., don't say anything you wouldn't say directly to a client or the company VP) and provide basic advice on blogging generally and on related emerging technologies.

The key points of the book are that blogs are better than traditional one-way marketing because they allow instant two-way communication with customers, developing a loyalty unmatched by other marketing endeavors.

In fact, if a business doesn't blog, its customers will abandon that company in favor of one that does. This book should be in all public libraries and academic business collections.

-Robert Harbison, Western Kentucky Univ. Lib., Bowling Green

Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

[signed] steven streight aka vaspers the grate

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