I finished reading “NAKED CONVERSATIONS” authored by Robert Scoble and Shel Israel, It is a book on the impact blogging is having on the dialogue between businesses and consumers. The basic concept is that blogging strips away the pretense, and your words stand naked for people to comment on.
My take away from the title (coupled with the challenges Tiger Woods is facing created in part by the public nature of his emails and text messages) is that the N.Y. Times test for writing is a highly useful tool in the blogosphere. Whatever you type can be discovered and it is virtually impossible for you to take anything back. Common sense and maturity will serve you well as you begin your blogging journey.
There was a lot of good information in the book. But, here are the big take-aways for me that I thought you’d appreciate having summarized.
FIVE PIECES OF ADVICE
- Talk, don’t sell. Share ideas, don’t try to sell a product or service. But, make it easy for people who want to follow-up with you to do so. Some may want to talk about your product or service after they have come to trust you.
- Post often and be interesting. Don’t start a blog unless you are committed to following through with the exercise. Nobody likes to have their time wasted.
- Write on issues you know and care about. It is always easier to think of things to say about a subject you understand. If you want to learn about something you don’t know, write a post that poses a question. Don’t fake it.
- Blogging saves money, but costs time. You can reach people fairly inexpensively, and if you are lucky enough to have your blog go viral it can be a lot of people. But you will have to invest quality time to author posts worth reading.
- You get smarter by listening to what people tell you. Don’t be defensive about negative comments. Try to understand the other person’s point of view, and read the responses to their post. This will give you a good appreciation for the complexity of the topic and might actually make you think as well.
ELEVEN TIPS FOR SUCCESS
- Make your blog post title search engine friendly.
- Read a number of blogs before you start so you know the competition.
- Keep it simple, keep it focused.
- Demonstrate passion.
- Don’t be afraid to speak authoritatively.
- Allow comments – it is supposed to be a dialogue.
- Be accessible.
- Tell a story whenever possible.
- Link to other discussions on the topic, be “linky”.
- Use real world examples.
- Use your referrer log and support the websites that refer to your blog the most traffic.
Social media is getting popular everywhere, and it is beginning to be used as an effective tool in economic development as well. Blogs are a way for potential investors to get an electronic look at what it is like to live and work in your community. These naked conversations create an impression.
Minimally, you should be following bloggers in your community to see what story is getting told. That way you will have a sense for what a site selector or executive might think about your location if they do a Google Blog Search. Forewarned is definitely forearmed. But you can also consider adding your voice to the mix by starting a blog of your own.
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