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Exclusive Podcast with Naked Conversations Authors Robert Scoble and Shel Israel January 7, 2006

Posted by John in Technology.
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The Transcript of the exclusive podcast with Naked Conversations authors Robert Scoble and Shel Israel.  

The podcast is posted on PodTech.net here.

Guest: Robert Scoble – Co-Author Naked Conversations
Guest: Shel Israel – Co-Author Naked Conversations
Host:  John Furrier – Founder of PodTech.net
 John Furrier – Founder of PodTech.net
Welcome to the PodTech.net podcast.  We are here with two distinguished gentlemen:  Robert Scoble with from Microsoft who has the famous Microsoft blog and Shel Israel. Welcome to the podcast.  We are here to talk about your new book Naked Conversations.  So in one week your book is coming out.  You guys are just now preparing for the big pre-book launch.  Two major events coming up: Silicon Valley event and one in Seattle where Microsoft is and Shel here in Silicon Valley.  Let’s talk about the book Naked Conversations which we did a podcast earlier, Shel, a couple of months ago about Naked Conversations kind of a teaser prior to the book, but now that the book is coming out you have had a lot of feedback out in the blogosphere from bloggers and also people in corporations and feedback has been great.  This is kind of turning out to be like the next chapter of the New Testament if you will.  As you mentioned the first Bible was The Cluetrain Manifesto Charles in Company wrote.  This one is getting a lot of buzz around the fact that it is just ?raw? or “naked? in the sense that this is kind of the state of the market in terms of how people can use blogging in a professional environment in a conversational way.  So talk about some background into how you guys hooked up with the book in terms of the genesis of this and some of the key things in the book and why it is good for folks to buy.

Welcome to the PodTech.net podcast.  We are here with two distinguished gentlemen:  Robert Scoble with from Microsoft who has the famous Microsoft blog and Shel Israel. Welcome to the podcast.  We are here to talk about your new book So in one week your book is coming out.  You guys are just now preparing for the big pre-book launch.  Two major events coming up: Silicon Valley event and one in Seattle where Microsoft is and Shel here in Silicon Valley.  Let’s talk about the book which we did a podcast earlier, Shel, a couple of months ago about kind of a teaser prior to the book, but now that the book is coming out you have had a lot of feedback out in the blogosphere from bloggers and also people in corporations and feedback has been great.  This is kind of turning out to be like the next chapter of the if you will.  As you mentioned the first Bible was Charles in Company wrote.  This one is getting a lot of buzz around the fact that it is just ?raw? or “naked? in the sense that this is kind of the state of the market in terms of how people can use blogging in a professional environment in a conversational way.  So talk about some background into how you guys hooked up with the book in terms of the genesis of this and some of the key things in the book and why it is good for folks to buy. 

Shel Israel – Co-Author Naked Conversations

We hooked up on the book through two friends, Andy Rough who came up with an idea that was “Hey, Scoble aught to write a book and they aught to find somebody with enough time to actually do the writing.?  So they connected us; the other guy involved was Buzz Bruggeman who actually got into the book as the “connection king? because it seems that’s what he does best is put people in touch with each other.  I began sort of as the reporter and anybody who knows who Scoble and Scobelizer is, he was the fountain head.  He was the one who had the vision and understood what to do to make corporate blogs something new and fundamental and important and great and anybody who reads Scobelizer knows that he has done it.  I began as a reporter but I got converted.  I’ve been in the Tech sector for 25 years and as far as I can think, or see, this is the most important thing I’ve seen in the technology sector.  This is changing everything.

 

John Furrier – Founder of PodTech.net
Robert, do you want to say a few words about what you are doing.  Everyone in the world that has been blogging knows that you are Microsoft’s lead blogger right now and are doing a lot of great things.

 

Robert Scoble – Co-Author Naked Conversations

I am playing with video blogging too.  I go around Microsoft with a $700 camcorder and walk into people’s offices and say, “What are you working on?? and we have a conversation just like we are here for an hour usually and talk about what they are working on and get to see it and a demo…

 

John Furrier – Founder of PodTech.net
You did a podcast with Bill Gates and Steve Balmer.

 

Robert Scoble – Co-Author Naked Conversations

Yes. Lot’s of fun getting around to all the famous names and a lot of the people you don’t know who run Microsoft from the low levels like the business unit guys out there and the developers that you don’t get to see because they don’t get invited to speak at the conferences usually so you usually don’t get to see the people building things.  Like at General Motors, you don’t get to see the guy building the transmission, right?  The PR teams keep those guys hidden away.

 

John Furrier – Founder of PodTech.net
People want to meet the guys who know the most about products.

 

Robert Scoble – Co-Author Naked Conversations

Yes, I think that’s true.

 

John Furrier – Founder of PodTech.net
The product manager, the business unit executive…that is what you are doing with Channel 9 right?

 

Robert Scoble – Co-Author Naked Conversations

Exactly, I have really awesome access.  To be able to walk around one of the world’s biggest companies with a camcorder and be able to walk in an office without a PR…I mean if you have ever seen one of my videos I have no PR, no lighting, no T.V. crew, I just walk in and have a conversation and that is sort of where we get the title Naked Conversations, it’s changing how people relate to companies.  You don’t have any intermediaries, you can have a conversation right with the person who built the product.  You don’t need to go through seven levels of PR and marketing people just to figure out what something does.

 

John Furrier – Founder of PodTech.net
That’s why everyone loves that content and what you are doing at Channel 9 is really building a media library of content that is inside Microsoft that you are syndicating out for people to consume.

 

Robert Scoble – Co-Author Naked Conversations

We were one of the first companies to use RSS feeds on our homepage and use podcasting technology for our videos so you can subscribe to our video feed and it downloads automatically and it will play the video on your PC.

 

John Furrier – Founder of PodTech.net
Let’s talk about you mentioned PR and the book Naked Conversations really highlights this, the title itself really speaks volumes because in essence that’s what they are.  I think in general people these days are tired of over amplified scripted messaging and with fully accessible networking and always on environments people are in touch and communicating with rapid velocity.  We talk about Mimarandom, these sites like that provide massive velocity so things are changing in terms of time and people are communicating differently.  How would you guys see that evolving, and when you started writing the book how much has changed since the beginning?

 

Robert Scoble – Co-Author Naked Conversations

Well, Mimarandom didn’t exist when we started a year ago and I was having to read a thousand feeds by hand…

 

Shel Israel – Co-Author Naked Conversations

And you were staying up until three in the morning doing a link blog yourself, which you don’t need to do anymore.

 

Robert Scoble – Co-Author Naked Conversations

So I would read a thousand feeds and it would lake four to eight hours to read through that many feeds and Memorandom’s algorithms now read that many feeds in five minutes and presents it for you and does a far more complete job than I.

 

John Furrier – Founder of PodTech.net
You are in the hot tub with a cocktail! Use those hours more gingerly!  So, what Naked Conversations really means to me and other people who hear it that the environment for communication is changing for corporations…PR, and obviously there is still some issues around public companies, Sarbanes auctions, and regulations but for the most part consumers want to get information in this new form.  Talk about that and what are you guys seeing?

 

Shel Israel – Co-Author Naked Conversations

I’m dying to just read the opening to the book because it kind of addresses that.  Can I do that?  I just happen to have a draft of the book sitting here in front of me right here, John and this is just the introduction…

 

If you came here expecting to see a couple of middle aged white guys talking in the nude, you have come to the wrong book.  This one is about a revolution that is transforming the way business and customers communicating with each other.  It is about stripping out all the old crap that gets in the way of understanding and trust between them.  Mostly it is about blogging, the most powerful tool so far in this revolution.  Naked Conversations is no objective examination, although we have worked hard to try to make it fair and accurate.  We are blogging champions.  We believe that blogging is not just wise for a business just wishing to just get closer with their customers, but essential.  We envision a day in the near future when companies that don’t blog will be held suspect to some degree with people wondering whether those companies to hide or whether the owners are worried about what the people who work for them have to say.
  Robert Scoble – Co-Author Naked Conversations

We say an example of that this week with Alaska Airlines.  An airliner was leaving out of Seattle’s airport and developed a hole in the fuselage and the oxygen masks came down and a blogger was there on the flight taking video and typing into his trio.  He went from obscurity, somebody you didn’t know who he was, to the front page of U.S.A. Today in one day and he is going to be there again today because the story keeps evolving and if you aren’t a company that is used to dealing with this kind of speed, you’ve talked about velocity, you aren’t going to do very well in this new world PR wise.  And you’ve already seen Alaska make some mistakes that some employees there are supposedly, allegedly were writing anonymous comments on this guy’s blog and taking pot shots at him, well that’s not real smart blogging.

 

John Furrier – Founder of PodTech.net
So Naked Conversations velocity is a key word, trust you mention is a key word, but really you are talking about companies saying if they don’t have a blog, and this is something that has been talked about…that I talked about on my blog recently, is that in 1995 when the Web hit the scene people were like, “What is this web thing??  Within three or four years, if a company didn’t have a website they were considered obsolete by consumers.  But it is one thing that you mentioned about trust, you know, what are you hiding, but consumers, this is what they want, the format that they want.  So won’t companies be irrelevant if they don’t have it?

 

Shel Israel – Co-Author Naked Conversations

Absolutely!  This is the way it is going in most markets, there are exceptions, if you have a company that does evil things, that pollutes the environment, cooks the books, you really shouldn’t blog because it will come out.  Bringing this back just one step, people don’t want to be marked to anymore.  They are tired of committee press-releases in huberous.  Robert, when we began, talked about comparing a group of engineers working for a few years on a new hybrid engine at General Motors (this is theoretical, it didn’t happen yet) but these guys, lets suppose they start a blog and in the blog they talk about their dreams, their hopes, their failures, their solutions, maybe people comment in and send solutions in.  And then one day that engine goes into a car and that car is about to go for sale and at that time marketing kicks in.  They put together a 150 page press kit that cost $5000 to design, has all these beautiful pictures in it, and they have all these wonderful words about the forward thinking and all the rest.  My question is what is more credible and who do you want to read?  Do you want to read these blogging engineers with typos and grammar errors or do you want to read this nice, polished, refined, manicured, forward looking statements diminished press kit, and which one will you believe more?

 

Robert Scoble – Co-Author Naked Conversations

But it gets deeper than that, John.  Let’s get down to a small business because general motors is a business a few of us can relate to because we work in big companies, but most people work at smaller companies.  How do you find business today?  Let’s say the pipes in your house start leaking tonight and you need a plumber.  Where are you going to find a plumber?  You are going to go to the Yellow Pages if you have one.  I don’t even know where mine is.  Certainly I don’t have my Yellow Pages here so if my neighbor calls me and says there is a problem with your house I am going to go to Google, or MSN, or Yahoo! and I’m going to type something like Seattle plumber fix leaky pipes and I’m going to see what comes up.  At Microsoft we’ve done iTrack research on search engine users and you know that most people don’t click the “Next? button.  They do a search like that, they read the first page, and if they don’t see a result that is interesting they will do another search.  So if you aren’t on that first page as a business, you don’t exist.  How do you get on the first page?  You can pay, but even if you pay you’re on the right side of the Google page, or Yahoo!, or MSN and you are not as credible a business as the guys on the left side.  The guys on the left side, to me is more credible, than the advertising on the right side because I know the advertisers paid to be there where the left side the search engine actually said that is the most relevant page.  Well, how do you get on the left side?  You have to have people linking to you, right?  So let’s say Shel and I were both plumbers competing for the same business and let’s say Shel has a website that is a 1990’s static website that he had a professional design and it looks cool with a picture of his truck and all that stuff.  But, I’m a blogger and every night I get home after plumbing for the day and I write a little post about what I did and share tips on how to go to Home Depot and buy shower supplies or how to change your toilet and stuff like that, which one is going to get more links to it?

 

John Furrier – Founder of PodTech.net
The real time one will actually drive more linkage because of the…it is basically search engine optimization in practice.

 

Robert Scoble – Co-Author Naked Conversations

It is going to get more links to it because it is changing more and also because I have given the world something interesting to talk about.  It I put up a post about how to do plumbing, well someone is going to say, “That is interesting, this plumber is doing something and sharing his knowledge with me I’m going to link to that and talk about it.?  Now all of the sudden you have linking behavior and I’m on the front page of Google and Shel’s plumbing supply isn’t there so who is going to get the business?  That’s what really is driving this conversation.  Monster Cable called me in and said, “We have a problem.  We go to home theatre and we don’t see ourselves.  We are the home theatre experts.  We make cables for home theatre systems and they didn’t see any Monster Cable being discussed on the…

 

John Furrier – Founder of PodTech.net
Do you find on that note, because that is a really important topic, because one, it’s a naked conversation.  They are putting out plumbing information and they are sharing with the world.  It is also an endorsement factor.  People will comment on it.  It’s an iterative process, it’s going to iterate.  So he puts it out there and then people will come in and say either, “You don’t know what you are talking about? or “Good tip!?  So in a naked kind of conversational way, the fully clothed versions are the overproduced stuff, and the naked versions are the raw truth.  The endorsement side of it.  How do you guys see that playing out where people as a group are saying this is cool, this is good?

 

Shel Israel – Co-Author Naked Conversations

It’s kind of funny.  The endorsement began long before O.J. Simpson was telling you to use an Avis car.  It began when there was a little community with a butcher, a baker, and a candlestick maker.  The customers would leave and they would tell others that they had a good deal or a bad deal.  It was a personal endorsement from someone you know and trust.  There has never been a better way of doing business than working that type of endorsement.  We blog and people get to know us.  We may now know them, they may be RSS subscribers we never see them, we never count them, we don’t aggregate them, we don’t know their age, their buying habits, their zip codes, they just rate us and decide if they trust us.  When we say we like a new product, a new piece of software or we had bad support from a company like Walmart or Dell, they listen to us because they have decided they trust us or they’ve decided they don’t and they have gone away.  It’s a whole new thing.  What we’ve done is taken the little community form of endorsement and globalized it. 

 

John Furrier – Founder of PodTech.net
So what does this mean for a corporation in terms of, they have to play in a new world, they have to change habits, is there a road map for them?  In your book you can probably give examples out of it and read clips if you want, what can you share with folks out there that have to make this radical change?  With Microsoft you are driving that and participation with that.  How do they get started?

 

Robert Scoble – Co-Author Naked Conversations

The first thing I tell people who work at companies is start reading blogs.  You can use blog search engines to read everybody in the world who says something about your company which is really powerful.  I’ve spoken to a lot of companies and right before I speak to the company I usually write a little post like, “Hey, I’m at Target today or I’m at the European Football Association.?  By the end of the talk, you go to Feedster, technurody, PubSub and you already find that post is in there.  It’s not because I’m some famous A list blogger, any blogger…

 

John Furrier – Founder of PodTech.net
I do it all the time, I find out who is linking to me and I like to see what they say, it’s cool. Feedback.

 

Robert Scoble – Co-Author Naked Conversations

So now if you are a corporate employee or you run a small camera store or something, you can see everybody in the world who says the world digital camera on their blog today.  Whether they are a fourteen year old kid in Australia or a venture capitalist in Silicon Valley. 

 

Shel Israel – Co-Author Naked Conversations

Let’s go back to the camera store there because what you did when you were in a camera store is not a whole lot different from what you are doing from Microsoft now, is it?

 

Robert Scoble – Co-Author Naked Conversations

A lot of the principles I learned that I use on corporate blogging I learned in the camera store.  Things like know your market place.  People would come into the LZ Premiums where I worked and they would come in with a spread sheet of I want an Nikon F4 camera, and I want lens, flash, camera bag, tripod…

 

John Furrier – Founder of PodTech.net
All the research laid out right there.

 

Robert Scoble – Co-Author Naked Conversations

Yes, and some of them would have a column of my prices and a column for a competitors prices.  I memorized 3000 SKUs in my store and I memorized them twice.  Once for my store, and once for the competitor.  So I would fill in both columns and people would go, “How do you know their prices?? I said I just know and I would send them off to the competitor to get the price and it would be the exact same price that I told them.  They would go, “My God, how did you know that??  I said, “I know my market place.?  They would come back and specifically ask for me because I was the only guy in town who really know the marketplace that way.  Some other things are if you don’t have something, send them to your competitor.  You are going to win the customer’s trust over time anyway.

 

John Furrier – Founder of PodTech.net
So in the book I am looking at the Table of Contents.  You have a what’s happening chapter one, kind of like a state of the union what is going on.  Chapter two, blogging right and wrong, and three is the big picture which is a place holder for all the emerging stuff that’s happening.  Talk about the right and wrong and some of the things that are notable in there. 

 

Robert Scoble – Co-Author Naked Conversations

Actually, I’ve got it open to the “Doing it Wrong? chapter and I will just read a little bit from the beginning of that chapter…

 

No one wrote the official blogging rule book.  There are no blogging police, and you do just about anything you want with your blog.  But unless you are a masochist, you will not enjoy the experience if you do it wrong and your business will not be better for the effort.  One simple rule for doing it right is “Be Real.?   If you are going to blog, be authentic.

 

Keep your conversations naked.  Let people know who you are and where you are coming from. We call if being transparent.  If you don’t, blogger vigilantes will form torturlant mobs to expose your false or character blog and they will continue their assaults until they have driven a stake through the heart of your deception.  There may be no rule book or designated enforcement squads, but the blogosphere is filled with members committed to keeping the blogosphere a clean channel, unadulterated by clever, cute or contrived entries. 

 

One thing that I have learned is… even when I do something, like the other day I said Microsoft should buy Newsgator, and I posted lengthy treaties on why Newsgator should be considered by Microsoft for acquisition.  The  CEO of a competitor of Newsgator  wrote on his blog, “Hey don’t forget about me.  We actually have better technology.?  That was yet another example of “the audience is smarter than I am, more connected than I am, wealthier than I am, more educated than I am, and comes from a problem from a lot more viewpoints than I do.?  They make me smarter by participating in that.

 

 

John Furrier – Founder of PodTech.net   They are producing with you.  You put yourself out there.  Your example of Newsgator is just one of many.   The real dynamic is put is out there, but be open and naked to the fact that there is going to be some input. It is not a matter of fact PR statement.  You are making conversation, and you are listening.  So being open for listening, what you are saying is that you would be smarter by listening.  What my father says is, “John, you have got to listen more?, (which is my big problem…  all laughing).  The point is, you have to listen, and that is doing it right.

 

Shel Israel – Co-Author Naked Conversations  The whole blogosphere is a “wisdom of crowds” mechanism.  Is really is.  When we wrote the book, I think we were the first one to actually write early chapters and post them up there, and step back and let the blogosphere tell us what they thought.  Sometimes they were very kind, and sometimes they gave us what the blogosphere calls “tough love?.  What happens, though, is we ended up writing a much better book. Bloggers out there gave us cases that we never would have found.  They did fact checking for us, which helped us make our deadlines.  Every now and then we cheated and tossed it out and got the right numbers from people out there.  Dave Winer, who is the father of blogging I would say.  When he has a technology problem, he posts what it is.  Within a matter of hours he has the solutions from other people.  Blogging actually brings out the best in people.  They actually help each other. It is about conversations.

 

John Furrier – Founder of PodTech.net   It is about groups. It is fun hanging out in a group.  People like groups.  I love hanging out with people.  Even though you are right by yourself, it is a virtual group.  You are getting input.  Let’s talk about truth.  I was talking to someone when I was in New York City a few months ago.  It was at the BlogOn conference and it was a person from the New York Times.  We were talking about reporting.  We had this big debate about blogging and reporting.  I didn’t want to go the whole mainstream media blogging debate.  He said something interesting that you guys just touched on.  He said, “Being a reporter is about the truth.?  In your book Naked Conversations you talk about velocity of information.  You talk about traveling… about Alaska Airlines.  It is about truth.  The wisdom of the crowds makes truth viable.  Is it about “truth? in responding quickly?

 

Robert Scoble – Co-Author Naked Conversations   The number one rule in my corporate web log manifesto is, “Don’t lie?.  Why is that the number one rule?  Because if you misrepresent who you are or what you are doing,   the world out there is so connected and so smart and has access to so many information sources.  Even friends who know me…  they are going to “fact check your ass? (ask Doc Searles calls it).   They are going to do it in a violent and…

 

John Furrier – Founder of PodTech.net   …without prejudice, if you put yourself out there…

 

Robert Scoble – Co-Author Naked Conversations   Look at Joe Nacchio, right?  He was on stage talking to Esther Dyson’s conference and the bloggers fact-checked his ass while he was on stage… and turned against him while he was on stage.  Today he is… 

 

Shel Israel – Co-Author Naked Conversations   Indicted 42 times!

 

Robert Scoble – Co-Author Naked Conversations   Yeah, and all due to…

 

John Furrier – Founder of PodTech.net   You are going to scare people to never do public speaking again.

 

Shel Israel – Co-Author Naked Conversations   In this case what happened was Buzz Bruggeman.  This is in the book, of course. Buzz Bruggeman wasn’t at the conference, but he was reading Doc Searles and Dan Gilmor’s blogs.  He did a quick check, and he found out that while Joe Naccio was standing on the stage urging people to invest in Quest (because it was an under priced stock), Joe had been dumping hundreds of millions of shares of the stock himself!  The speed of which this happened, the speed of which the truth overshadowed a CEO who apparently was guilty of wrongdoing… has never happened before.  If somebody had caught him in a lie in the old reportorial …

 

Robert Scoble – Co-Author Naked Conversations  He would have beaten him at the stake.
 Shel Israel – Co-Author Naked Conversations   If they caught him before, it would have taken weeks to come out.

  If they caught him before, it would have taken weeks to come out. 

John Furrier – Founder of PodTech.net   …and buried in some PR tactic, right?

 

Shel Israel – Co-Author Naked Conversations   Well, maybe, maybe not, but it would not have been on the spot.  The man was standing on the stage and audience saw his nose grow like Pinocchio.

 

John Furrier – Founder of PodTech.net   He was naked at that point.  The audience pulled his pants down!

 

Robert Scoble – Co-Author Naked Conversations  Buzz was not just reading blogs and writing back to the people who were in the audience.  He had Yahoo! Finance, so he had the full financial information of the company at his fingertips.   You can see all these trends that are happening in society.

 

John Furrier – Founder of PodTech.net    If I can boil that down for you, what you are saying is two things in my mind.  In a group environment, the assembly of information and facts is rapid.  Not only just the distribution of fact, and rumor, by the way. Rumor and facts can be distributed.  That is the dichotomy; there is rumor and fact… and then circulation of that.  They have to get out there and be prizefighters for the truth…their truth…the corporation…their messaging. Is that what you are saying?

 

Robert Scoble – Co-Author Naked Conversations   Yeah. You see rumors all the time. You talked about it on the blog, when the register was attacking Internet Explorer one day.  They said the next version of Internet Explorer was going to break Google and Yahoo!’s toolbars.  I knew that wasn’t true, but I quickly got the guy who runs the Internet Explorer team on phone and interviewed him live, while I am reading this stuff.   I said, “Hey Dean, what is up … and tell me what is going on?  How are you going to respond to that??  He said, “Here are the facts.?  I blogged it real-time and put it out there.  We had people at Google and we had people at Yahoo! who were adding to the conversation.

John Furrier – Founder of PodTech.net   It is like a brawl…a brawl for the truth.

  It is like a brawl…a brawl for the truth. 

Shel Israel – Co-Author Naked Conversations   The story broke on a Friday.  There is a chapter in the book called “Blogging in a Crisis?.   This was really what you would call blogging to stop a crisis. This is what corporations should understand.  Something untruthful happened to Microsoft.  It is particularly sensitive, because, the Department of Justice and Microsoft, you may recall, had a negotiation in this area.  It was a sensitive area because it looked like they were doing something predatory against competitors.  Scoble started blogging; he started going to the source.  He got the truth out.  Over the weekend the story erupted on the blogosphere and then it kind of trickled away.  What didn’t happen Monday morning, was there was no story in the New York Times about what Microsoft may have done wrong.  There was no mid-level guy at the Department of Justice running down the hallway.

 

John Furrier – Founder of PodTech.net   The truth is boring.  The truth is boring for those guys.  Justice was right.  What they did successfully with the blogs is they counter struck rumor.  Let’s talk about rumors.  The famous Forbes story by that joker over there (I forget his name). 

Shel Israel – Co-Author Naked Conversations   Who? (Laughing)

 

John Furrier – Founder of PodTech.net   I then did an interview with Steve Forbes. He sent me an email to correct his position as “pro-blogging? (ironically, right after that story broke).  Forbes did a cover story two months ago about blogs.  They really painted it as a rumor monger…  “Your brand is in jeopardy?.  In essence, that is the antithesis of what we are talking about, which is, “fighting for the brands is what blogging is all about?.

 

Robert Scoble – Co-Author Naked Conversations   A lot of companies get stuck on this.  There is a progression about “how companies get blogging?.  The first progression is, “I am going to get some good PR if I do a blog.?  That is probably the wrong reason to do a blog.  For one, the PR hit will be short-lived and you probably won’t get what you want out of it.  The way I know a company really “gets it? is when they start listening to their customers and start building better products based on the conversation that they are having with their customers.  We are close to that at Microsoft.  I see companies jumping into it with their PR teams, trying to get a good PR story out of it.  They are not really transparent.

 

John Furrier – Founder of PodTech.net  They aren’t really producing anything.

 

Robert Scoble – Co-Author Naked Conversations   They aren’t really transparent.  It is sort of like Howard Dean.  Howard Dean last year got a lot of PR buzz, because he had a blog.  At the end of the day we figured out it wasn’t him doing the blog.  It was Joe Trippy doing the blog.  We knew that the candidate himself didn’t really believe in it.  When you find that out, it’s…

 

Shel Israel – Co-Author Naked Conversations   … a deception.

Robert Scoble – Co-Author Naked Conversations   It becomes a deception; and the power of blogging is wasted.  A lot of companies come into the blogosphere and do press releases on their blogs.  They totally miss the power of having this two way conversation.  It is sort of like if you were the only one talking right now, or if I were the only one talking.

It becomes a deception; and the power of blogging is wasted.  A lot of companies come into the blogosphere and do press releases on their blogs.  They totally miss the power of having this two way conversation.  It is sort of like if you were the only one talking right now, or if I were the only one talking. 

John Furrier – Founder of PodTech.net    It is like having no listeners.  I would have no listeners.

Shel Israel – Co-Author Naked Conversations   (laughing) … Can I talk?

  (laughing) … Can I talk? 

John Furrier – Founder of PodTech.net    It is about producing some contribution of some sort, whether it’s original content, linking to someone who has content or just making a comment.

 

Shel Israel – Co-Author Naked Conversations   There is something that Robert said earlier that reminded of Ernie Svenson, better known as “Ernie the Attorney? (www.ernietheattorney.com) in the blogosphere.  He has been brilliant writing about his experiences in New Orleans.  When I asked him the most important thing about blogging he said, “Listen, really listen.?  Period.  He didn’t put anything else down in the answer.  I did a follow-up question.  He said, “When I first started blogging, I got critical comments. I really wanted to shoot the jerks down.  I wanted to prove that I was right… that I was dead right.?  He said,  “When I started listening, I started seeing other points of views, and I started understanding how the blogosphere can make me not just a better lawyer, but a better person.?  This is absolutely true for companies.  They have more to gain by listening to their customers, than they have by talking to their customers.  They have more to gain by saying what they are thinking of doing, than they have by saying “this is what we have done and it is infallible and the world is ever changing.?  Nobody believes it anyway.  Marketing departments, since they have installed CMO’s (and don’t get me started on them) just love statistics.  They like demographics and psychographics and socio-graphics.  What they really need to know is just one thing … what do the customers want?  The blogosphere is a power tool in enabling them to find that out. Yeah, they are going to have some ugly comments now and then.   If the comments are unfair, other people will shout down those ugly comments.  If they are fair, and nobody shouts them down, the company should pay attention. 

 

John Furrier – Founder of PodTech.net   “Public relations (PR)? …  if you take that word literally, is public relations.  You mentioned the blogosphere as being a power tool.  It is a community.  You have an opportunity to inject your conversation or product messaging or philosophies out there to drive a community. What are the three things that you would advise the clients at very high level … Obviously, get the book.  Assuming they get the book, what are the two, three things that they need to do?

 

Robert Scoble – Co-Author Naked Conversations   My favorite one is read 50 blogs everyday for 2 weeks at least.     Learn about RSS, so that you can learn how to read these things in a far more productive way than just using a web browser.  You can learn about the blog search engines.  You can put your company name in; and see what everybody in the world says about your company name or your product name or your product category.  (To Shel) What is yours?

Shel Israel – Co-Author Naked Conversations   have consulted a few companies about how to get started in blogging.  Invariably what they do is they look at there blog register and say, “Okay, I blogged. Where are my ratings??  They need to understand how all of these things fit together…how the blogosphere is … we are all connected.  A person with a ranking of 2 may not get the instant feedback that an “A-lister? like Robert will get, but they all matter.  If they just see it as …  I just spoke with a client who wanted to know the twenty top tier blogs that cover their category by ratings.  This was gibberish.  Because I get paid by the hour I could take a long time and… (All laughing).

  have consulted a few companies about how to get started in blogging.  Invariably what they do is they look at there blog register and say, “Okay, I blogged. Where are my ratings??  They need to understand how all of these things fit together…how the blogosphere is … we are all connected.  A person with a ranking of 2 may not get the instant feedback that an “A-lister? like Robert will get, but they all matter.  If they just see it as …  I just spoke with a client who wanted to know the twenty top tier blogs that cover their category by ratings.  This was gibberish.  Because I get paid by the hour I could take a long time and… (All laughing). 

John Furrier – Founder of PodTech.net   Jump in and participate.

Shel Israel – Co-Author Naked Conversations   We have all just begun.  I talk about Robert.  Robert has 2.8 million people visit  his day-job, Channel 9.  I would guess 20,000 to 30,000 people on the average visit his blog everyday (which humbles me).  The “ratings? isn’t what it is about; it is about the conversation.
 John Furrier – Founder of PodTech.net   It is the right 20,000 people.

  It is the right 20,000 people. 

Shel Israel – Co-Author Naked Conversations   It could be three! If I wrote a political blog and the three people who read my blog everyday happened to be:  the President of the United States (I forget his name), the Premier of China and the head of the Soviet Union,  I would have a great deal of influence.  If I could get them to talk to each other, I could change the world.

 

John Furrier – Founder of PodTech.net   Yahoo! folks call it “influence marketing?.  They actually have people with titles of “Influence Marketing?.  I would add to the list, by the way, podcasting with PodTech.  We do a lot of work with corporate clients (shameless plug for PodTech) Podcasting is the “brother/sister? relationship to blogging.  It is RSS based … this conversation.
  Robert Scoble – Co-Author Naked Conversations    Audio and video are very powerful tools to allow people to get to know you better.  A blog is the best relationship building device I have ever seen.    I was recognized in the street the other day by a guy had never even met me, just because he knew my face and he knew my blog and he said, “Are you Scoble??

   Audio and video are very powerful tools to allow people to get to know you better.  A blog is the best relationship building device I have ever seen.    I was recognized in the street the other day by a guy had never even met me, just because he knew my face and he knew my blog and he said, “Are you Scoble?? 

Shel Israel – Co-Author Naked Conversations … And I had a meeting with the guy the following day!

 

Robert Scoble – Co-Author Naked Conversations    It is that relationship building device.  We are going to a Geek Dinner in half an hour.  There will be 40 people there.  Why do they come?  Because I write on the web everyday.  What a bizarre way to meet people.

 

John Furrier – Founder of PodTech.net   Text, voice and video.  All three multimedia … it is not one or the other.  They all have different roles:  comprehension for text, voices ( like we are doing now) with podcasting, video…

 

Robert Scoble – Co-Author Naked Conversations     Text is more searchable, but audio you can put in different places. You can put it in your cell phone…like I have a cell phone that can play your PodTech.

 

John Furrier – Founder of PodTech.net   This is going down as my longest podcast ever.  We are here with Shel Israel and Robert Scoble, the distinguished authors of the book, Naked Conversations. How Blogs are changing the way businesses talks with customers.  The book will be out in about a week?

 

Shel Israel – Co-Author Naked Conversations     One week. You can take pre-orders through the website. nakedconversations.com  an operator will be sitting by and watching.

John Furrier – Founder of PodTech.net   It will be a great event.  If you have an opportunity, check out the blogs at Scobleizer.wordpress.com and nakedconversations.com.  You will find out about the events in Silicon Valley and Seattle and great stuff..  I have known you guys personally for a while now.  I think it is great stuff.  I am so psyched that you have the book out, and can get it into the hands of people to help people learn.

  It will be a great event.  If you have an opportunity, check out the blogs at Scobleizer.wordpress.com and nakedconversations.com.  You will find out about the events in Silicon Valley and Seattle and great stuff..  I have known you guys personally for a while now.  I think it is great stuff.  I am so psyched that you have the book out, and can get it into the hands of people to help people learn. 

Robert Scoble – Co-Author Naked Conversations     Thank you very much.

 

John Furrier – Founder of PodTech.net   Any final parting comments?

 

Shel Israel – Co-Author Naked Conversations     About the book?  Nah, that’s too commercial.

 

John Furrier – Founder of PodTech.net   The book is going to do well on its own.   I think it’s a great book.  Final sharing words for folks?

 

Robert Scoble – Co-Author Naked Conversations   Join in the conversation that is going on worldwide.  For companies, two cautionary tales: pay attention to the people who you think aren’t important. For example,  the guy on the plane the other day… none of us knew who he was, but he is on the front page of USA Today and on the front page of the Wall Street Journal.  In 24 hours he went from obscurity to national visibility, because of his blog.  Every voice counts.  Two, join in the conversation.

 

Shel Israel – Co-Author Naked Conversations   We close the book by saying that 20 years from today, people will look back at what we do with podcasting and blogging and they will smile at how quaint it was.  These are just tools…like a hammer.   You can either build a house or bludgeon someone with a hammer.  What is important is that there is a fundamental change from the broadcast era when corporations push stuff at out at people (who are known as targets, as sticky eyeballs). It has changed to a more equal playing field.  You can get wiser and closer to the people that make a difference to your company through blogging and other tools that we can’t even dream of.

 

John Furrier – Founder of PodTech.net  We are on the cusp of a social revolution.  Social connectedness…social grid…social conversation…naked conversations.  I am psyched to do this PodTech exclusive with you guys right before the book comes out.  I am psyched to know and work with you guys.  Congratulations for getting the book completed; and congratulations in advance for great success with the book.  Thanks for the podcast.

 

Shel Israel – Co-Author Naked Conversations   Thanks so much John.  I had a ball.

 

Robert Scoble – Co-Author Naked Conversations   Thanks John.  Your podcast rocks, by the way.

 

John Furrier – Founder of PodTech.net   Thanks so much.  Tell everyone.

 

Robert Scoble – Co-Author Naked Conversations   You tell everyone.

 

John Furrier – Founder of PodTech.net   Thanks guys, you guys are great.

 

 

Comments»

1. PodTech.net: Silicon Valley, Technology, & Media Podcast » Blog Archive » PodTech News: Naked Conversations Authors at CES - June 26, 2006

[...] The full transcript of the podcast with Robert and Shel is available here. [...]

2. PodTech.net: Silicon Valley, Technology, & Media Podcast » Blog Archive » PodTech News: Naked Conversations Authors at CES - July 10, 2006

[...] 7th, 2006 | Posted in Technology, PodTech News | Print this page | Email this post | Follow comments (RSS 2.0 feed) Here is the exclusive podcast (40 mins) with Robert Scoble and Shel Israel the authors of “NakedConversations”. Robert and Shel are at CES talking about blogging and podcasting at CES. I had a chance to sit down with them for this exclusive Podcast of their book. Naked Conversations will be available Jan 9. It will prove to be a great resource for corporations and individuals to learn about what works and what doesn’t work with blogging. Great stuff. The full transcript of the podcast with Robert and Shel is available here. [...]

3. PodTech News: Naked Conversations Authors at CES | PodTech.net: Silicon Valley, Technology, & Media Podcast - August 12, 2006

[...] The full transcript of the podcast with Robert and Shel is available here. [...]

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