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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Corporate Blogging, Anyone?

A blog may be in your company’s future, and Debbie Weil’s The Corporate Blogging Book is an excellent how-to guide for getting it right.

An aside: If you know me at all, you know I discount hype. It makes me crabby and all too often I'm let down when I actually get the final product.

I'm pleased to report that this book, despite its advance hype, does not disappoint. It’s a definite keeper.

Weil provides the necessary background on the first, second, and third waves of blogging. But only what’s necessary. From then on her book is an easy-to-read primer on everything you need to know about blogging, like

o writing a blog people want to read,

o using blogs to create two-way communication with customers,

o launching the thing, including what you need to know about tools and technology, and

o making the case for a corporate blog to your CEO, in case she's not as market-savvy as she could be.

Weil also provides a well-stocked “Bonus Resources” section that includes, among other things, sample blogging policies and guidelines, a glossary, and an annotated blog entry and blog home page.

Best of all, she practices what she preaches. Noting that a blog should be written in a “compelling bloggy voice that invites interaction with readers,” Weil does likewise. The text is extremely accessible and personable—exactly the kind of model to use for putting a face on a megacorporation.

And given what I’ve said about hype earlier, to her credit, Weil does not cheerlead. Rather than “rah-rah” blogging, she presents compelling and well-researched examples of the pros and the pitfalls associated with starting and maintaining a blog.

To my surprise and delight, I give this book five stars.

Here are two more reviews of Weil’s book, in case you want more than my perspective:

Corporate Blogging: Great Liberator or Oxymoron?

Meryl's Book Review of The Corporate Blogging Book

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Beach Reads for Business

Every summer publishers and book reviewers print their pics for best beach reads, usually novels.

So, seeing as how it's August and great getaway-to-the-beach time, here are my pics—for business. See what you think.

Orbiting the Giant Hairball (Gordon MacKenzie)
Got this one—my current favorite—as a gift from Marguerete Luter, president of Women in Technology (WIT), when I jointed the WIT Leadership Team this spring as Vice Chair of the Communications Committee. The book's subtitle is A Corporate Fool's Guide to Surviving with Grace and it's a joy. All about awakening and fostering creative genius.

The Art of the Start (Guy Kawasaki)
As the jacket says, "the time-tested, battle-hardened guide for anyone starting anything"—and that's most of us at any given time, whether we're entrepreneurs or intrapreneurs. Confession: haven't started it yet, but it's on my "read next" shelf.

A Woman's Guide to Successful Negotiating (Lee E. Miller and Jessica Miller)
A father and daughter team wrote this book. How can you resist this promise from the back cover? "Get what you want—in every aspect of your life—without having to compromise who you are."

Who Moved My Cheese? (Spencer Johnson, MD)
A classic, and I've re-read it at the suggestion of a dear friend and colleague. It's all about dealing with, anticipating, even embracing, change. Now that's a hard one! So I'm glad Johnson wrote this compassionate and humorous book. It makes his insights easier to accept.