(“Naked Conversations”: Ch. 1-4) Blogging: “A Self-Regulated Media”

by

The book begins with rise of blogging: Josh Allen, Microsoft’s first blogger representing the much-disliked company through his blog, answering the public’s questions. Allen wanted to humanize the “Borg”—the term used for Microsoft employees due to their bad publicity. Allen worried his company’s legal department but continued, even through talks of being dismissed. His blog lead to the development of Channel 9. Allen had naked conversations with the public: He directly dealt with the remorse and animosity with an open forum of communication, helping smooth ill-felt feelings and repairing the company’s public relations.

The power of word of mouth: The “buddy system” began as a simple project—two years later, AOL converted it to their popular instant messenger software, which was downloaded by 25 million. Wow!

The same strategy was used with the Internet browswer, Firefox. This is the power of the consumer and meeting needs. Companies can spend millions on marketing strategies, but if the product is “remarkable,” it’ll sell without much help.

The word-of-mouth effect can damage, too. Hollywood movie revenues are destroyed by simple SMS messages, now text messages, that friends alert friends with messages like “it sucks.”

GM’s Bob Lutz used his “transparent and authentic” style on his blog representing the company to boost sales and interest in products. It worked.

This book has a conversational style of writing, which makes it easy to digest and comprehend. It’s full of information without the grandiloquent vocabulary. Good read, so far.

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