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Groundswell, Expanded and Revised Edition: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies Paperback – May 24, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press; Expanded and Revised Edition edition (May 24, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1422161986
  • ISBN-13: 978-1422161982
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.9 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #52,719 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“If you haven’t read the book, I would highly recommend you buy a personal copy and read it to get a comprehensive understanding of how our world is being transformed by social technologies and how you can take advantage of it.” - Business 2 Community

About the Author

Charlene Li is an independent thought leader and founder of the Altimeter Group. Josh Bernoff is a vice president at Forrester Research and one of their most senior and most frequently quoted research analysts. He created the Technographics segmentation, a classification of consumers according to how they approach technology.

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Customer Reviews

Listening to the groundswell is critical to engaging it.
cksyme
This is a great book for anyone who wants to understand social media and how to build a social media strategy.
Alexandra
This book is a must read for marketing and business professionals.
Christine Fife

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Yosem Companys on March 7, 2013
Format: Paperback
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 By M. Law on February 5, 2013
Format: Paperback
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 By Sharad Gupta on 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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Groundswell is relevant in part, because it reminds readers to focus on the relationship first and then match the technology. It is a great place to start if you want to wrap your arms around social networking. The coolest part for me about this book is that it gave me an opportunity to use a bunch of the new media techniques I have recently adopted.

Instead of writing notes on paper or underlining in a hard copy book and then transferring to a computer, I read it on the Kindle and highlighted numerous passages with the highlight tool. The Kindle backs up your highlights to the Amazon cloud which is convenient for saving and cataloging ideas. Then, I used Evernote to save and catalog my highlights and notes from Amazon. At the same time, I wrote this review while reading the book which allowed me to more accurately reflect my feelings. Most importantly, I did all of this conveniently without the benefit of my own computer since my wireless card failed during my reading and I had to borrow another computer
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is a must read for marketing and business professionals. The point that Groundswell makes, that other books that discuss social media are missing, is that PEOPLE and relationships between people and companies are the key, not the technology. This book will help marketers understand what needs to be done to participate in the market conversation that is going on about them, their industry and the consumer needs and wants their products fulfill.
The authors have done a great job of providing specifics on how to participate in the market conversation by covering how to figure out what to do, why to do it, where to do it, how to pinpoint the right audience, etc. Companies considering, and not yet considering, getting involved in the market conversation through social media outlets and other online activities can greatly benefit from reading this book.
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