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Kindle Edition with Audio/Video

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Groundswell (Enhanced and Updated) [Kindle Edition with Audio/Video]

Charlene Li , Josh Bernoff , Vook
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Published by Harvard Business Review Press

In the bestselling book Groundswell, Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff defined "the groundswell" as a social structure in which technology puts power into the hands of individuals and communities, not institutions. With thorough research and compelling examples, the book identified the components of this shift and recommended the best ways to build a meaningful company strategy for social media.

In the three years since the book was published, companies have begun to take full advantage of Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn on devices of every shape and size.

This expanded, revised, and enhanced edition addresses the latest developments in social media, and gives you the tools you need to understand and apply that thinking in a successful strategy for your own organization. Perfect for readers who bought the original book and need tools and an update, or those who are new to the groundswell, this enhanced edition includes:

  • Updated data from the authors’ work at Forrester Research on how customers use and perceive new media
  • Two new chapters demystifying Twitter and assessing your organization's level of social maturity and where you need to go next
  • Two powerpoint presentations that you can download, customize, and share with your colleagues
  • Live hyperlinks to the blog posts, tweets, videos, and other media mentioned in the book to show you what companies are getting this right and how – and what happens if you don’t
  • Examples of videos discussed in the book
  • Charlene Li is a social media thought leader, founder of the Altimeter Group, and author of Open Leadership.

    Josh Bernoff is a senior vice president at Forrester Research and coauthor of the recently released Empowered, a book about how to manage in the age of the empowered customer.

Editorial Reviews


...for Groundswell's intended audience - managers struggling to answer questions such as "should my soap company have a presence on Facebook?" or "why isn't anyone reading our company blog?" - the emphasis on data and analytics is not a bug - it's a feature --The Financial Times, May 21, 2008

The Forrester analysts have prepared one of the most comprehensive and useful primers on the sudden surge in social media. --Advertising Age, July 3, 2008

Their response, an introduction to the current state of online social networking and what to do about it, is entertaining, well- written and mercifully free from techy details. --The Financial Times, June 4, 2008


There is no question that this is the book to read if you are in a corporate environment. – 800 CEO Read’s Social Media University’s Reading List, August 2009

Product Details

  • File Size: 70747 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Vook Inc.; Harvard Business Review Press; Expanded and Revised Edition edition (June 30, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0057Z7H40
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #433,280 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
First, the positive: The authors list many of the social media technologies available at the time of publication and provide decent statistics on social media usage. The problem is you could get the same statistics and more for free by reading a Pew report.

There's plenty not to like in this book:

First, the authors appear to have groundswell tourette syndrome. Just as Rudy Giuliani can't get through a sentence without mentioning 9/11, the authors can barely go through a chapter without mentioning the word "groundswell." It's as though the authors took a bunch of verbs, added them to the word groundswell, and voila, a book was born.

All the chapter titles treat the groundswell as some sort of mysterious, independent force that companies must harness through mystical Jiu jitsu. (And yes, I am quoting, they compare themselves to sensei and say they are teaching you social media Jiu jitsu.)

Second, the authors mention Digg and General Motors as two key examples of how companies can harness the groundswell. They say Kevin Rose of Digg clearly "gets it" about the Net. Yes, Rose got it so much that he ultimately had to sell the company for $500,000. Another key example in the book comes from GM, a company that almost died until the government stepped in to bail it out.

If you like hype, you will love this book. You will learn that "the groundswell comes from the collision of three forces: people, economics, and technology." That's shocking because nothing else in society results from the confluence of people, economics, and technology. And the authors note that you'll learn little about managing the groundswell from learning about the technology because the groundswell is a force to be mastered, as I said, much like Jiu jitsu.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for numerous reasons February 5, 2013
By M. Law
Groundswell is a hit for a number of reasons:
(1) It's current: Although published in 2011, the book is very up-to-date. This is good and bad, as very quickly it will become outdated.

(2) It's helpful: Instead of just listing advice for readers, like the groundswell itself, the book tries to relate to the reader. It gives plenty of case studies and real-life stories, and readers find themselves connecting with the authors.

(3) It's readable: It is written in such a readable fashion that anyone, tech-savvy or not, can enjoy it. While giving details of the groundswell concept, it also gives a basic overview of social media; none of the concepts are complicated or overbearing.

(4) It's about relationships: The book, while seemingly data driven and technology-focused, is really about relationships. "Never forget that the groundswell is about person-to-person activity" (280). Groundswell is about wielding our social media revolution to build and sustain relationships. Doing this requires patience, commitment and the right attitude.

Overall, it is an easy read, but it will train your mind to think differently about social media.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's ok. November 7, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I had to read this for college. It was a good book for me though as I am in the web development business and it is important for me to understand some of the social media concepts out there.

This book I have to say, however, feels very watered down for casual readers. I've been in the web business almost 10 years now, and I have to say that this is not the greatest book for someone that already has technical knowledge. It has many bare bone basic concepts about social media sites and feels like a "how to" guide for corporate head-honchos. The author of this text makes up a lot of their own terminology and key-concepts behind social media including the term "groundswell". Many of its concepts revolve around social media technology such as Twitter and Facebook. Social media can go out of fashion as quickly as it gained popularity. I wouldn't recommend a corporate business do everything this book says, although it has some good advice for those who are clueless about implementing their business in social media.

This is an interesting read, but I'm not too crazy about it nor it's concepts. I have to question, how have the authors gained some of the knowledge they have and who are they to really set the standards for social media? It's a decent book and not many others out there are like it, but I think someone can write something better out there. Average book in general. Take what you can from it but don't believe everything it says in my professional opinion. 3/5
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless book on social media June 3, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Groundswell is an excellent read for anyone involved in the social media strategy and implementation. The book lays out a consumer segmentation model (social technographics ladder) that can be used to segment and understand the consumers of the social media. A company needs to understand the existing and evolving social technographics profile of consumers to choose appropriate social media and engagement strategies (listening, talking, energizing, helping, embracing). The book also proposes a four-step process for developing a social media marketing strategy - People, Objectives, Strategy, and Technology (called POST). The book has many case studies and insightful analysis of the power of social media. Although the social media technologies will continue to evolve rapidly, one must understand the bigger picture and the business use cases (in areas of customer research, marketing, sales, customer support, and new product development) in order to leverage the immense power of social media.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great book in perfect condition! Fast shipping as well! Thank you very very much!
Published 1 month ago by Ekaterina Kuznetsova
5.0 out of 5 stars Very helpful in gaining a more in-depth and rich understanding ...
Very helpful in gaining a more in-depth and rich understanding of social media - something that will only grow exponentially in importance and relevance as time moves on. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Cameron M.
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Published 5 months ago by Anahi Solis Chavez
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
This is a must read for all marketing and business professionals in the Web 2.0 world!
Published 5 months ago by Shana A Bakhshi
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Informative
Very informative. Explains Web 2.0 technologies and how business can use them successfully. Good examples. I listened to the book and it kept my attention well.
Published 5 months ago by Cynthia Walker
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
sums up recent social and economic changes brought about by a wired, tech-based world perfectly.
Published 6 months ago by periwinkle
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Great content, but missing some reference on how to measure results of strategies exposed
Published 7 months ago by Daniel Michel
2.0 out of 5 stars Too long
The book is too long in my opinion. The same information could have been conveyed in much less space. The material is good, just be sure you have a lot of extra time to read it.
Published 7 months ago by Nathan Townsend
5.0 out of 5 stars Groundswell a great read for PR/Marketing professionals
Great book and reference for understanding the groundswell phenomena. I highly recommend it to any PR or marketing practitioners out there looking for more insight on how to tap... Read more
Published 7 months ago by JJ
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
It is ok book. Very basic. Needed it for a class
Published 7 months ago by AM
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