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

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First published August 7, 2008

Co-written by technology evangelists Robert Scoble from Microsoft and Shel Israel, a Silicon Valley tech guru, this book is a primer for those interested in understanding how blogs are changing the conversation between producers and consumers.

Fundamentally, blogging interferes with traditional corporate communications in that it is no longer possible for a company to ‘control’ their message. The book shares many examples of how this happens and presents case studies of companies who have handled the change well and those who haven’t. And then there are those who have been standing on the sidelines waiting to see if blogging just goes away.Well, it’s not going away and the faster companies realize this and adapt to it, the stronger they will be. One of the key points of Naked Conversations is that customers and prospects now have a potentially global audience and will talk about you whether you participate or not.

The viral nature of blogging and its incredible referral power which is sometimes called “word of mouth on steroids” cannot be manipulated by marketing and public relations specialists. And blogs should not be planned or executed as the newest marketing and sales channel in the traditional sense.

The reality is that all of us have gotten very skilled at avoiding advertising and traditional marketing, and none of us like to be “sold to”.  Basic rules of the blogosphere are:

  • be authentic and genuine (the “naked” of the book’s title)
  • be transparent
  • be nice

In a nutshell, blogs are focused on building relationships through the sharing of information and not about selling products. People will buy from you, but only if they know and trust you. That’s how blogs will help your business. Your prospects and customers will flock to you if they perceive that you have valuable information for them.

By sharing information, you build trust within your “community” and when they need to buy your product, they will. Not only will they buy, but they’ll recommend your product to anyone else they encounter who is looking for the same thing.

The web makes it easy for people of like minds to find each other. Numbering more than 70 Million in the USA alone, blogs give the microphone to any interested party. Blogging is smart business and more inexpensive than most marketing initiatives. The only way to make sure you are part of the conversation is to join it.

Reading Naked Conversations is a terrific place to start.


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