Naked Conversations: The Next Chapter
Yesterday, I wrote about a conversation I had with Robert Scoble that looked back on the lessons from Naked Conversations. Today, I offer up Shel Israel, the other half of the dynamic duo that co-authored the book, to get his perspective.
Dan Greenfield: What is the biggest development that you did not forsee when Naked Conversations was first published?
Shel Israel: The number of conversational tools that would become available on the Internet.
Greenfield: With the advent of social networks, podcasts and vlogs, are blogs yesterday’s news or is corporate blogging still in its infancy?
Israel: There is no contest between the items in the social media toolshed. The blogging craze is subsiding and the tool’s use is normalizing, just like email did a decade ago or a hammer did when it replaced the rock as a pounding/building tool.
Greenfield: Is a blog still a blog if it is more video and audio than text?
Israel: The more ways that people can have conversations, the better off they are, business is, government is. You seem to be focused on blogs as in some sort of competition with other tools. I am more interested in the cultural changes that happen when people have the power to talk back, when people have the ability to simply bypass organizations that want to deliver and insert messages into their foreheads. The tool is not what is important. Someday people will look back at today’s blog and say, “how quaint” they were back at the turn of the century. They will not be replaced. They will evolve into something much better.
Greenfield: What do you think about the concept of microblogging that Twitter is making more prominent?
Israel: One more neat conversational tool. A great many people love Twitter and other microblogs. Businesses have a new way of distributing information to those who want it. I don’t Twitter, because it is not a tool for me. But I am a strong proponent of any conversational tool.
Greenfield: If you were writing Naked Conversations today, how would it be different? same?
Israel: The book was about Conversations. We would cover a great many more tools. We would have new and different stories to tell. Maybe we should write a Naked Conversations Volume II.
Greenfield: With all the changes in technology, how can communications professionals keep up?
Israel: They should stop trying to insert messages and just join the conversation. I hope they start understanding the value of taking messages back to clients, rather than just trying to deliver messages from clients. And if I am allowed a little bit of my curmudgeon-side to come out. They should read my blog long before they approach me. I will have a conversation with anyone who takes he time not to waste mine. When they don’t know who I am, what I write about, what I’m passionate about, they have shown a lack of respect for me before we even begin to speak.
Greenfield: I think I get the message, Shel. And thanks.
A year ago, Naked Conversations spurred my interest in blogging. Today, the new communications tools are very alluring. Just yesterday, Robert was remarking on how much more proficient he was getting with video. The pressure is on for higher production values. But in the end, the essence is still the conversation. I look forward to getting their Volume II…on video or at least on a podcast.
Let me get back to you.