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

Robert Scoble , Shel Israel
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
Price: 16.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

31 Jan 2006
From the creator of the number one business blog comes a powerful exploration of how, and why, businesses had better be blogging: Naked Conversations. According to experts Robert Scoble and Shel Israel, blogs offer businesses something that has long been lacking in their communication with customers –– meaningful dialogue. Devoid of corporate–speak and empty promises, business blogs can humanize communication, bringing companies and their constituencies together in a way that improves both image and bottom line. The authors use more than 50 case histories to explain why blogging is an efficient and credible method of business communication. You′ll find yourself excited about the possibilities blogs present after reading just a few pages. Discover how: Prominent business leaders, including Mark Cuban of the Dallas Mavericks, Bob Lutz from General Motors, and Jonathan Schwartz of Sun Microsystems, are beginning to use blogs to connect with their customers in new ways. Blogging has changed the rules of communication and competition. You can launch an effective blogging strategy and the reasons why you should. Featuring a foreword by Tom Peters, this is a resource you and your business can′t do without.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; 1 edition (31 Jan 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 047174719X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471747192
  • Product Dimensions: 24 x 16 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 447,425 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

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 (http://redcouch.typepad.com/), 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 ( Library Journal , January 15, 2006)  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.)  ( Publishers Weekly , December 5, 2005)

"Scoble ... and ... Israel have put together a bible for business bloggers.... This book should be in all public libraries and academic business collections." ( Library Journal , January 15, 2006) "...this book is an essential guide to best practice." ( Publishers Weekly , December 5, 2005) "...essential reading...(would) highly recommend to anyone..." (Financial World, May 2006) "...reveal a new (blogged) world that is challenging the traditional way of doing business." (LRP, October 2008)

From the Inside Flap

"Talk WITH me." Today′s consumer craves human contact. We′re sick to death of voicemail. Menus of options that never offer the option we need. A deluge of carefully spun "information" designed not to answer our concerns, but to influence our decisions. Mechanical voices telling us our call is important to them even as they refuse to answer it. We′re frustrated in our attempts to reach a live human being, and when we finally do, all too often it′s someone who barely speaks our language and only reads from a script. It is so surprising that the consumer distrusts the corporation? Into this charged atmosphere comes a phenomenon called blogging. It′s interactive. It′s informal. It′s peppered with misspellings, grammatical errors, and an occasional forbidden word. It comes from a real person. And it allows the consumer to talk back. Robert Scoble, author of the nation′s best–read business blog, and veteran consultant Shel Israel believe bolgging is already changing the face of business. They show you how employee bloggers altered the public′s perception of Microsoft. How an outspoken NBA team owner uses his blog to connect with fans. How small businesses and Fortune 500 companies alike can benefit from blogging, and how failing to use it properly can be disastrous. In the totally forthright manner that defines a good blog, Scoble and Israel are equally honest about blogging′s dangers. They examine the risk and how to manage them. And they have practiced what they preach. You′ll read comments they receive when they publish early drafts of this book on their own blog. Traditional corporate communication is one–way, and customers are tired of being talked at. They want to talk back. This landmark book shows you how to let them, and why your business may depend on it.

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We live in a time when most people don't trust big companies. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It motivated me to set up a (profitable) blog 15 Oct 2006
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I'd known about blogging since 2002, but never really "got it". Then on a whim, I bought "Naked Conversations."

The book is firmly aimed away from geeks (and consequently doesn't waste time on the sordid details of the RSS specification), and firmly aimed towards business owners and marketeers who want to communicate better with their customers.

Lots of good case studies of widely-read blogs, balanced out with some good analysis of what the succesful blogs have in common.

Now, if your intention is to set up a blog to communicate with your school friends and family members round the world, then this isn't for you.

If your intention is to improve your relationship with your customers, then it would be a good use of your time at get this. The material covered is very similar to that in "Blog Marketing (Jeremy Anderson)", but Scoble and Israel have a rather deeper coverage, and to me, their book is more succesful at conveying WHY blogging works, rather than just what to do (which is where the Anderson book concentrates.)

Oh, and yes, two months in, the direct revenue I can track back to my blog has paid for the book many, many, times over!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How - and why - to be a business blogger 1 May 2006
By Rolf Dobelli TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Successful blogger Robert Scoble and co-author Shel Israel push people in business to get involved with blogging as a means of communication and of staying on top of conversations that affect their companies. The authors summarize blogging's history and provide examples of how companies have benefited from it, including interviews with high-ranking corporate bloggers. Their easy-to-read and easy-to-understand writing style ensures that even those who know little about blogging can grasp it. The book covers how to blog and how to participate in conversations, rather than always talking and never listening. We recommend it to businesspeople who blog or are thinking about it, and to executives who want to know why blogging is important and how it can build their companies' bottom line.
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4.0 out of 5 stars How blogging can change a company profile 28 Jan 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
An interesting read for anyone with an interest in how blogs can affect peoples' perceptions of an organisation. While the examples used are a bit dated now the concepts are still relevant.
The one aspect of blogging that is not covered is 'How do you find the time to blog if you are a busy person?' - and if blogging is largely done by people with nothing else to do are blogs worth reading.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Somewhat disappointing 28 Feb 2007
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I bought this title partly because I usually follow Scoble's adventures and commentaries in my blogroll, and because I am quite fond of Channel 9 videos (for those who may not know, videos from inside Microsoft). And I bought it as well expecting to find more sound advice on business blogging. I have to admit that, as it is usual with customers, I can't really pinpoint what I mean by "more sound advice", but, being honest, I don't consider a myriad of blogging examples to be illuminating when there's no analysis of those examples or, when there is some insight, it does not go very deep.

My advice is this: if you already are blogging, if your blogroll is full of prominent business references (people like Scoble himself, Guy Kawasaki, Chris Anderson, Seth Godin, GapingVoid.com, and the likes, you know, the usual name dropping), then you don't need this book, and most of its content will be merely anecdotical or, sometimes, boring.

On the other hand, it could probably be very useful for the clueless folk in marketing. But then they will not probably be very open minded about the ideas conveyed in this reading; and they won't even know about Scoble and Israel in the first place.

However, let me stress that this is not for lack of quality in the book itself, but because this book has somewhat missed its audience for the reasons above (obvioulsy that's my personal opinion only).
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
An excellent discussion on benefits of business blogging. Shows some pains of not blogging and provides insight on how to establish and benefit from blogging through practical examples.
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