Best Company Blogs with Robert Scoble and Shel Israel


This is an interview I did with Robert Scoble and Shel Israel when they released Naked Conversations: How Blogs are Changing the Way Businesses Talk with Customers. It was recorded at the New Communications Forum in Palo Alto.  

Shel Israel writes and speaks about blogging, communications, marketing and innovation. He is the co-author of Naked Conversations, How Blogs are Changing the Way Businesses Talk with Customers with Microsoft's Robert Scoble.

A self-proclaimed recovering publicist, Israel spent over 20 years as a public relations consultant specializing in tech start-up pr. Among more than 100 companies he worked for are Sun Microsystems, SoundBlaster, PowerPoint, and Filemaker.  

Robert Scoble is a technical evangelist who works for Microsoft and maintains the popular blog Scobleizer. Besides blogging, Scoble is part of the Channel9 MSDN Video team producing educational and evangelist mini-films targeted toward students and professional developers.

Although Scoble often promotes Microsoft products like Tablet PCs and Windows Vista, at the same time, he criticizes his employer and praises its competitors (like Apple and Google).

He has long been known as a prominent advocate of RSS technology and the Tablet PC, two technologies that he has previously been involved in professionally, at NEC Mobile Solutions, where he was sales support manager, and UserLand Software, where he was director of marketing.  


3:46 – Robert Scoble and Shel Israel on their decision to blog their book before publishing it.  

6:30 – Robert discusses the process of blogging the book.  

7:01 – Shel talks about the blogosphere’s influence on the book's final draft.  

8:44 – Shel and Robert talk about publishing the book.  

10:00 – Robert and Shel on corporate blogging: “…there’s a new human voice and that’s the key thing to what blogging does for the corporation; it puts a human face on it.”  

14:00 – Shel and Robert on how blogs have changed traditional forms of marketing.  

16:42 – Robert and Shel on word of mouth marketing: “…now because of blogging and other emerging social media networks you can go directly to your audiences worldwide and make a difference. You don’t need The New York Times or the local daily to get your word out.”  

18:57 – Shel and Robert on the differences between media relations and naked conversations.  

22:26 – Robert and Shel discuss whether Steve Jobs should blog: “Companies that don’t blog, like Apple, are going to in the long term pay for this…”  

24:10 – Robert and Shel talk about Bill Gates allowing employees to blog at Microsoft.  

25:45 – Robert and Shel responding to a question about how to advise CEOs to blog: “Dialogue beats monologue let your people blog.”  

26:46 – Shel and Robert on whether their book is a success.  

30:07 – Robert discusses MSN’s censorship of Chinese blogger Zhao Jing.  

33:58 – Robert and Shel on companies using social media and taking business risks: “…in the end the companies that deny that there’s been a change are going to have their cherry orchids cut down.”  

37:36 – End.  

Photo by JD Lasica

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