Sunday, December 24, 2006

Naked Conversations

Before we left for India, I posted about going to the Alaska Apple Users Group (AAUG) and starting to read and review the book Naked Conversations by Robert Scoble and Shel Israel. I finished the review in that hectic week before we left and never got to post the review. Actually, I just give you a little synopsis here and there's a link to the full review below.

Basically the authors are arguing that large companies need to get into the blogosphere for two reasons:
1. People are blogging about you. You need to subscribe to service (such as that emails you when your company is blogged about. Then you can jump into the conversation - get good feedback, answer questions, clarify misconceptions, etc.
2. Companies should let employees blog about the company as a way of engaging all your stakeholders - customers, suppliers, employees, etc.

They also give tips for small businesses (and this could apply to non-profits). Basic advice is not to 'sell' on your blog, but to show your expertise by talking about your business, giving information that would be interesting to people.

All this advice is based on the notion that old style marketing is out, that nobody trusts the hype that comes out of big business. Rather, the essense of the market, they say (citing the Cluetrain Manifesto that I've had up as a link since I first mentioned this book review) is conversation between buyers and sellers. Blogs give this opportunity to have such direct conversation between the customers and businesses.

I think this is something marketing folks and CEOs ought to read. They give lots of examples of how organizations have blogged successfully and not so successfully. It isn't a technical how-to book as much as a 'why you should' book. For the whole review, click here.

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