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...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
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 ›
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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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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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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