3 Must-Read Books for Bloggers
A lot of bloggers read blogs, but there are also some very valuable books out there on blogging. The three books that I recommend for bloggers are Blog! by David Kline and Dan Burstein, The Corporate Blogging Book by Debbie Weil, and Naked Conversations by Shel Israel and Robert Scoble.
1. Blog!: How the newest revolution is changing politics, business and culture by David Kline and Dan Burstein.
This book talks of the power and influence of blogs. It uses political examples. Through these examples we can learn what good blogging is (honest, open) and what it is not (poorly written, blatant marketing). It talks about freedom of the press and countries and companies that try to suppress blogs. It also warns and gives examples of blogs that share insider or confidential information and what happens.
To quote from it: “most people or at least most of the media’s coverage of business issues in blogging are missing the fact that the real excitement here is not how much money business can make from blogging, but how dramatically blogging will reshape the world of business from top to bottom and create new sources of competitive advantage for firms that learn how to use this new medium intelligently… Bloggers not only tend to be more passionate about their interests and hobbies than other people, they also have marketplace influence far beyond their numbers.”
This is a highly inspirational read for anyone who blogs. We live in revolutionary times and as bloggers (and blog readers) we see history being made. We are truly cutting edge. The world is changing before our eyes.
As A. J. Liebling, a great 20th century journalist, said: “Freedom of the press is limited to those who own one.” With blogs, anyone can.
2. The Corporate Blogging Book: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know to Get it Right by Debbie Weil.
Debbie is one of the pioneers of corporate blogging. She is not only an advocate but she explains the pros and cons of corporate blogs.
A section from the book: “Blogs are a key enabler of this new way of talking with customers, employees, the media and other constituencies. Packaged, filtered, controlled conversation are out. Open, two-way, less-than-perfect communications with your customers and employees are in….Listen, learn, debate, be willing to change, admit mistakes, be equals, with your children, be fair to others with whom you have an adversarial relationship. Acting like a dictator will get you nowhere.”
She has top 20 questions about corporate blogging and in one of those she talks about the three most important things to know before starting blogging. The book also has good examples of blogging policies.One of her points is savvy bloggers read other blogs. My advice is the simplest way to do this is to subscribe to them.
One concept that she talks about is citizen journalist and citizen media. Blogs are a new media and it is run by the citizens. Blogger Halley Suitt explains, “The word PR will be gone; the word blog will be gone. Your employees will be your ad agency and your customers will be your back-up ad agency”
3. Naked Coversations:How Blogs are Changing the Way Businesses Talk with Customers by Shel Israel and Robert Scoble
This is an excellent book. I am passionate about business blogs. I truly believe they have value for a business. The book re-affirms this. Naked Coversations is easy to read, fast and well organized. It combines advice on blogging (and why blogs help companies) with stories of real bloggers.
Blogs have dangers but those dangers tend to be overrated. Not blogging is a greater danger. As I have said many times, blogs are a new media. Companies that ignore it do so at great peril. At the same time, blogs cannot be blatant self or company promotion – readers (and other bloggers see right through that and can decimate a company).
How do I know if a book is good? If I make a change as a result. I turned off word verification on my blog to make it easier to comment (I still review all comments and don’t let spam through but am trying to make it easier to have a conversation). I get twice as many emails as comments on my blog as a result of my blog. The book drives home that comments and conversations are good.
I also know a book is good if I buy multiple copies for people that I think should read it. And in this case I did.
All three of these books, Blog! by David Kline and Dan Burstein, The Corporate Blogging Book by Debbie Weil, and Naked Conversations by Shel Israel and Robert Scoble should be read by anyone who has a blog or anyone interested in blogging.