Saturday, January 14, 2006

Naked Conversations exposed

Shel emailed me:
Like any proud parent, I am beaming to announce that Naked Conversations has just gone on sale at If you find it in your heart to spread the word, Robert certainly would appreciate it.
Sure thing. You have my support yet again with this post, in addition to what I've posted earlier.

I went over to to read the book excerpt:
coverBloggings's Six Pillars: There are six key differences between blogging and any other communications channel. You can find any of them elsewhere. These are the Six Pillars of Blogging:

1. Publishable. Anyone can publish a blog. You can do it cheaply and post often. Each posting is instantly available worldwide.

2. Findable. Through search engines, people will find blogs by subject, by author, or both. The more you post, the more findable you become.

3. Social. The blogosphere is one big conversation. Interesting topical conversations move from site to site, linking to each other. Through blogs, people with shared interests build relationships unrestricted by geographic borders.

4. Viral. Information often spreads faster through blogs than via a newsservice. No form of viral marketing matches the speed and efficiency of a blog.

5. Syndicatable. By clicking on an icon, you can get free "home delivery" of RSS- enabled blogs into your e-mail software. RSS lets you know when a blog you subscribe to is updated, saving you search time. This process is considerably more efficient than the last- generation method of visiting one page of one web site at a time looking for changes.

6. Linkable. Because each blog can link to all others, every blogger has access to the tens of millions of people who visit the blogosphere every day.

You can find each of these elements elsewhere. None is, in itself, all that remarkable. But in final assembly, they are the benefits of the most powerful two-way Internet communications tool so far developed.

I was thinking about the choice of the book title -- Naked Conversations. It's a clever one and thought it deserved elaboration in the excerpt.

In 2004 ,after meeting Shel the first time, I found my way to his blog and discovered posts, like this one, where he openly shares his thoughts about visiting Singapore the first time:
I see no evidence of anything like a police state, but then, I just got here. As I write at nearly 1 a.m., I hear the first sirens I’ve heard in Singapore's night. I’ve not yet seen a police officer. The only soldiers I've seen were collecting money to support the schools. I'm in the densest part of the city. In New York City, sirens are part of [the] backdrop.

Far from being offended about how Singapore was perceived (everyone's entitled to their perceptions), I remembered thinking, "So that's how he, a first time visitor to Singapore, perceived us."

I also recalled how a little light blub went off in my head (just a little one -- I'm not too bright). I thought, "Isn't that interesting. If this guy did not blog his thoughts aloud, I'd never have known he had such an impression about Singapore. It was unlikely to have found its way into our conversation then."

After I learnt how to blog, how to search for them, about RSS and tags, more 'Naked Conversations' were exposed. Sure, some were pretty mundane stuff but once I knew where to look, I discovered a lot more intelligent "no-holds barred" posts and discussions. Opinions and discussions that I strongly suspected would not have taken place outside the blogging medium.

Naked Conversations indeed.

Shel will be dropping by Singapore next week. I'm looking forward to meeting him in person again.

Congratulations again, guys.



  1. Hi Ivan, thank you for taking the trouble to explain some things that many other bloggers take for granted. I have learnt a lot from reading your posts. Wish I could attend your course though.

    I also realised that you are not only a avid reader; you are a prolific writer as well; with posts going back to as early as 2004. I have to take my time to read your early articles.

    But I must say, I am quite disappointed with what I find in the blogs of the so-called 'celebrity bloggers' in Spore. Does not seem to fit the characteristics you listed here.

  2. Thanks for your kind words, Chun See. Me, a writer? Well, I guess so. That's the beauty of blogs isn't it? Everyone can be a writer. But of course, being a good writer... now that's a different story (which I admit I've a long way to go before hitting "good").

    Regarding "Celebrity Bloggers": In fairness, while I'm certain the A-list bloggers enjoy the "fame" they are getting, I don't think they deliberately gave themselves that title. It could be hype from mainstream media. Fact is, they have their readers.

    As what I like to quote from library guru Ranganathan: "Every Book Its Reader", and "Every Reader His Book". In the similar vein, everyone has their preferred blog and all blogs have their particular readers. It's like the Da Vinci Code -- some like it while some just don't. Nothing to be disappointed about, really :)


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