WOMMA Keynote by Robert Scoble and Shel Israel

I have spent the last few days at the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) conference in San Francisco. Over the next few days I will put up some posts to cover some learnings that I have picked up especially since many early stage companies can really benefit from the new techniques that are being used most of which require fewer dollars than traditional marketing programs.

But first, I had a great opportunity to see the keynote this morning by Robert Scoble and Shel Israel talking about the things they learned while writing their best seller "Naked Conversations". If you at all follow the Tech Scene, and haven't been off the planet the last couple of  weeks, then you know that Scoble has resigned from Microsoft and off on a new venture with Podtech.net.

The first thing that struck me was the way the room buzzed when Scoble entered. A young woman at my table described him as a "Rock Star". That's quite a label for someone who grew to fame by blogging and vlogging.

Although he might be described as a Rock Star, he certainly does not act like one. He carries his fame with a large dose of humility. Blogging made him famous, but he says that blogging got started because he and a number of other geeks from Silicon Valley were laid off in the '90's and were upset with corporate America. Having nothing to do, they developed the tools that allowed Naked Conversations to flourish. They needed to rant about how Corporate America screwed them. I don't think that any of them had a clue that they were pioneering a new way  to communicate moving from monologues to dialogues.

To show the power and speed at which things can now happen, Scoble mentioned that it had only been about a week and a half since word leaked about his decision to leave Microsoft. He told 15 people it on Saturday before last and asked them to keep it quite until he had a chance to talk with his manager at Microsoft. Unfortunately, one of them, who knows maybe more, couldn't keep it and it got leaked. Within 12 hours, it had gotten all over the net and major news outlets were calling him asking for comments. It forced him to have the exit conversation much sooner than planned.

One of his other comments what that he clearly understood what was happening and saw that he needed to shape the conversation the way he wanted to, which meant to focus on what his new opportunity was about and off why he was leaving. By Monday, he was the hottest news story in Tech. Amazing, in very little time and at no monetary cost, he became a worldwide story. This supports the ideas about Naked Conversations in the new book and shows the speed at which things can happen.

As famous as he is, he still quipped that "Lattes still cost $3.00" while Shel mentioned that "He still had to wait in line at Safeway".

I am looking forward to seeing what happens to the Alpha Geek Blogger at Podtech.net and how he might further vlogging in the industry.



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