Sunday, February 27, 2005

Blog or Die: Comment 1

Blog or Die is the current working title (and likely final title) of the book that Robert Scoble and Shel Israel are currently working on. The book has its own blog (separate from the authors' respective blogs, to which I just linked). The book's blog is called The Red Couch, and was so named before the book had a title.

The authors are posting drafts of chapters to the blog. They recently posted chapter 1. Here is a key quote from it.
Why does blogging work, even as other communications mechanisms fail? Part of it is style. Quite simply, people respond better to lowered voices spoken in credible tones than they do to the aggressive in-your-face marketing-speak that prevails almost everywhere else.
One of my problems with this draft of chapter 1 is that its voice is not as "lowered" as I'd like it to be. Rather, it veers toward what might be termed "aggressive in-your-face bestseller-speak." I'm referring to things such as the claim that blogs "are the best way to make your company more profitable, grow faster, or get your product more rapidly adopted." And of course, there's the very title of the book.

But what Scoble and Israel have posted is chapter 1 of what they hope will be a bestseller. They want their opening chapter to grab the reader's attention. If it does that, they can fill in the details in subsequent chapters. For example, they can expand on their important point that blogging, or at least the type of blogging that the authors recommend, is not controlled from the corporate center.

The authors may, by the end of the book, have substantiated their above-quoted statement that blogs are "the best way." They may even have justified the title Blog or Die. They are not short of impressive statistics (e.g., "number of blogs worldwide today is probably about 10 million"). But even I, as a serial blogger and enthusiast myself, suspect that they overstate their case.

But this is an early draft of the very chapter. I salute the authors' decision to post as they write. And I'll look forward to the rest of the book, much of which I expect will be more balanced and measured.

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