Start reading Groundswell on the free Kindle Reading App or on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here.
This title is not currently available for purchase
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

To view this video download Flash Player


Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies [Kindle Edition]

Charlene Li , Josh Bernoff
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)

Pricing information not available.

Free Kindle Reading App Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition $9.99  
Paperback $10.61  
Audible Audio Edition, Unabridged $23.95 or Free with Audible 30-day free trial
Shop the new
New! Introducing the, a hub for Software Developers and Architects, Networking Administrators, TPMs, and other technology professionals to find highly-rated and highly-relevant career resources. Shop books on programming and big data, or read this week's blog posts by authors and thought-leaders in the tech industry. > Shop now

Book Description

Corporate executives are struggling with a new trend: people using online social technologies (blogs, social networking sites, YouTube, podcasts) to discuss products and companies, write their own news, and find their own deals. This groundswell is global, it s unstoppable, it affects every industry and it s utterly foreign to the powerful companies running things now.

When consumers you ve never met are rating your company s products in public forums with which you have no experience or influence, your company is vulnerable. In Groundswell, Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff of Forrester, Inc. explain how to turn this threat into an opportunity.

Using tools and data straight from Forrester, you ll learn how to:

-Evaluate new social technologies as they emerge

-Determine how different groups of consumers are participating in social technology arenas

-Apply a four-step process for formulating your future strategy

-Build social technologies into your business including monitoring your brand value, talking with the groundswell through marketing and PR campaigns, and energizing your best customers to recruit their peers

Timely and insightful, this book is required reading for executives seeking to protect and strengthen their company s public image.

"Groundswell is jammed with big ideas, useful stories, and quotable stats. This is the new industrial revolution. Are you on board?"

-Seth Godin, author, Meatball Sundae

"This book will rock your world, if social technology hasn't rocked it already. It's a tsunami of unstoppable force. Amazon, Procter & Gamble, Facebook, Google, and Dell are profiting from the crest of the wave. Are you? Li and Bernoff are the apostles of the tsunami. This book will be your bible."

-Scott Cook, Founder and Chairman of the Executive Committee, Intuit

Groundswell provides practical advice on how to stay nimble and flexible in an ever-morphing digital world. Enabling your company to respond to change quickly especially when talking to and supporting your consumers is essential for business success.

-Cathie Black, President, Hearst Magazines

"The first phase of the Internet was about getting everyone connected. In this next phase, which changes the way we work, live, play, and learn, we re starting to realize the value of those connections as well as the new communications and experiences those interactions lead to the human network. Groundswell effectively documents this shift and underscores the opportunities available to all from this major market transition."

-John T. Chambers, Chairman and CEO, Cisco

"Heed the Groundswell! It's critical reading and helped us master the new dynamics of social media."

-Christina Norman, President, MTV

"Groundswell is a comprehensive look at the tidal wave of change engulfing marketers. Nobody should attempt to engage the newly empowered and emboldened consumer without first hearing what Li and Bernoff have to say on the subject."

-Clark Kokich, CEO, Avenue A | Razorfish

"Social technologies and the groundswell impact every business and organization worldwide. Li and Bernoff have written an insightful book that takes a refreshing research-driven approach to helping businesses transform themselves and successfully navigate this new dynamic landscape."

-Steve Rubel, Senior Vice President, Edelman Digital, and columnist for Advertising Age

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: 2785 KB
  • Print Length: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business School Press; 1 edition (April 14, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001B1FDM2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #488,810 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 18 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.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
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.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
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.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
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
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars What it Means to Participate in the Market Conversation September 16, 2009
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.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
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 19 days 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 25 days 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 29 days 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 1 month ago by JJ
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
It is ok book. Very basic. Needed it for a class
Published 1 month ago by AM
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Great book
Published 2 months ago by cino
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
This book really defined why social and digital media is so important in today's society. Lots of data and case studies that let you develop "thought-ware" for your own... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Kelley Moss
2.0 out of 5 stars No real insights here
If you are a marketing researcher with experience, you know almost everything in this book. If you are a marketer without experience, it is worth a read.
Published 5 months ago by Dan C
4.0 out of 5 stars A good starter
I read it while researching digital entrepreneurship and it does a job of explaining the nuts and bolts of digital ventures.
Published 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read!
I had to read this book as a requirement for class and I must say this was a very interesting read to say the least. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Jennifer
Search Customer Reviews
Search these reviews only

More About the Authors

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.


There are no discussions about this product yet.
Be the first to discuss this product with the community.
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Look for Similar Items by Category