I recently finished Naked Conversations by Robert Scoble and Shel Israel.
I really enjoyed it for a few reasons. First, it was fun to watch reactions as folks caught the title out of the corner of their eye and the juicy thoughts became self-evident. But more importantly, it provides an excellent analysis of the blogging/business world intersection. It gave me a lot to think about on my own blog and our marketing position at Pluralsight, where blogging ads value to our business in many ways.
The main message I took aware from the book is the importance of being completely transparent and honest, or as Dave Winer likes to call it, come-as-you-are conversations. That, in a nutshell,is what makes you relevant. I think Steve Maine said it best on his blog:
One of the hard things about being a blogger in general is finding your voice. Writing in a public forum is very much a performative act; you subconsciously choose a persona to project to the world and evoke that person through your writing. The really great bloggers are the ones who can do this transparently. They write without feeling self-conscious, the literary equivalent of singing in the shower. They write as if their words have no effect on the world. Though that, their words acquire honesty and from honesty flows impact. I need to get myself back in that headspace.
I knew Robert (and his wife Maryam) — great people — before he was anybody in blogosphere, back when I was speaking at the early Fawcette shows (VBITS, VCDC, etc) and he was organizing the speakers. As I’ve watched his rise in blogosphere over the years, it’s clear to me that his untamed honesty and transparency is what people like about him, and ultimately what makes him relevant. I noticed those same traits in him during some of our early conference conversations many years ago. Maybe some people are justmade to blog and others aren’t. Sometime I wonder if I am — if I can really be transparent enough in public.
Hence, the name of the book, Naked Conversations. Expose yourself on your blog. Credibility and respect grow from these core principles, which are extremely valuable assets in any organization.