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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How groundswell thinking can help to achieve success in a "flat world"
What Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff characterize as "the groundswell" is "a social trend in which people use technologies to get the things they need from each other instead of from companies. If you're in a company, this is a challenge...[This trend] has created s permanent, long-lasting shift in the way the world works. This book exists to help companies deal with the...
Published on 3 May 2008 by Robert Morris

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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Its just an extract from the original
It's not clear from the official review on this site but this is just an extract from the original book - so if you've got that already then don't bother to buy this.

The original is brilliant but if you've got it then you don't need this and if you haven't got it then buy that rather than this and get the whole story.
Published on 28 Sep 2009 by Mr. Timothy J. Cunningham


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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Its just an extract from the original, 28 Sep 2009
By 
Mr. Timothy J. Cunningham (London,UK) - See all my reviews
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It's not clear from the official review on this site but this is just an extract from the original book - so if you've got that already then don't bother to buy this.

The original is brilliant but if you've got it then you don't need this and if you haven't got it then buy that rather than this and get the whole story.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How groundswell thinking can help to achieve success in a "flat world", 3 May 2008
By 
Robert Morris (Dallas, Texas) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies (Hardcover)
What Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff characterize as "the groundswell" is "a social trend in which people use technologies to get the things they need from each other instead of from companies. If you're in a company, this is a challenge...[This trend] has created s permanent, long-lasting shift in the way the world works. This book exists to help companies deal with the trend, [begin italics] regardless of how the individual technology pieces change [end italics]."More specifically, Li and Bernoff respond to questions such as these:

What unique threats does the groundswell pose?
How to turn it to competitive advantage, "like a jujitsu master"?
What are its component technologies?
What is The Social Technologies Profile and what does it offer?
What is the four-step POST process for creating strategies?
What are the five primary objectives for a groundswell strategy?
How to create customers who are evangelists for you?
How to establish and support relationships between and among your customers?
How can the same trends that empower customers also empower employees?

Throughout their narrative, drawing upon a wealth of data accumulated by Forrester Research as well as by their own studies, Li and Bernoff include a number of real-world examples - in the form of mini-case studies -- that demonstrate key points. They offer lessons to be learned from Mini USA, the American arm of BMW's Mini Cooper brand (how to listen through brand monitoring, Pages 89-93), Ernst & Young (how to communicate in social networks, Pages 104-106), Hewlett-Packard (how to communicate with customers through blogging, Pages 108-112), eBags (how to energize with customer ratings and reviews, Pages134-140), Constant Contact (how to energize by creating a community, Pages 140-145), the Lego Group (how to energize an existing community, Pages 145-147), and BearingPoint (how to use a wiki to reassure clients, Pages 165-168). Granted, not all of these lessons are directly relevant to a reader's own organization. However, they help to create a context for each key point as well as a frame of reference for what Li and Bernoff describe as a "permanent, long-lasting shift in the way the world works."

They conclude this brilliant book by offering some advice, not on what to do but on how to be: ever-mindful that the groundswell is about person-to-person activity, a good listener, patient, opportunistic, flexible, collaborative, and humble. Guided and informed by the information and counsel provided by Li and Bernoff, readers will be able to formulate and then execute strategies to achieve a competitive advantage. "You'll be able to build on your successes, both with customers and within your own company. And then, as the groundswell rises and becomes ubiquitous, you will be ready."

Those who share my high regard for this volume are urged to check out Rob Cross and Andrew Parker's The Hidden Power of Networks: Understanding How Work Really Gets Done in Organizations. Also Gary Hamel's The Future of Management (with Bill Breen) and Ram Charan's Leaders At All Levels as well as Enterprise Architecture as Strategy: Creating a Foundation for Business Execution co-authored by Jeanne Ross, Peter Weill, and David Robertson, Richard Ogle's Smart World: Breakthrough Creativity and the New Science of Ideas, and Global Brain co-authored by Satish Nambisan and Mohanbir Sawhney.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars An Extract - Misleading Description, 19 July 2010
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I read Groundswell with interest and pre-ordered this book as it appeared on the catalogue. i did not realize that this is just an extract from the original book. So, I ended up returning it as soon as it arrived.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Groundswell - A must for businesses looking to exploit social media, 14 April 2008
By 
Jasdev Dhaliwal (London, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies (Hardcover)
For many businesses who have still yet to venture into the world of social media. "Groundswell" is a must read. The book cites a number of case studies which illustrate how companies are gaining insights, increasing revenues, lowering costs and engaging their customers within today's Web 2.0 world.

Forrester analysts, Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff have produced the most up-to-book on the subject and present their findings in a clear and easy to understand format. Both demonstrate their expertise as analysts and writers and provide numerous data examples throughout the book.

What is a Groundswell?

Charlene and Josh define the Groundswell as:
"...a social trend in which people use technologies to get the things they need from each other, rather than from traditional institutions".

The authors discuss why it important to participate in the "Groundswell" and why the "Groundswell" is happening now. The book begins with an overview into what "social media" actually is, and discusses many of the successes and the pitfalls that a company can go through during its journey. The book then offers steps that a business should follow to implement a successful social media strategy.

The book essentially examines how such tools threaten institutional power, and how individuals can use them to empower themselves and their businesses.

Many businesses foolishly believe that participating in social media is as simple as creating a blog, or being active in Facebook. Groundswell does a great job at explaining that creating a successful social media strategy is probably one of the most difficult things that a business can do and takes time and commitment

Hopefully by reading this book the business person will be well on their way to mastering the new dynamics of social media.

Truly, a well presented and written book that is a must read for anyone who wants to learn and utilise Internet marketing, as it exists today and will exist tomorrow.

So much so, I would say this is the most important book to be released since The Cluetrain Manifesto and Naked Conversations.

Buy it!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Informative, but tediously boring, 24 Feb 2010
By 
G. Fraser (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies (Hardcover)
The book covers all aspects of understanding and participating with the groundswell, providing case studies and demographics in each section so you can get a full understanding of what's being discussed. It stats by explaining what the groundswell is and makes the important point that while there are many key technologies (blogs, wikis, etc) it's more about people, conversation and interaction. There are then several sections explaining how to work with the groundswell from different perspectives in order to benefit from it. Finally, a few sections explain how the groundswell will affect your organisation.

However, I must deduct 2 stars for the fact that this is one of the most tediously boring books I've ever read. In the time it took me to read Groundswell I managed to read 7 other management books. I really wish the authors had spent some time to inject some humour in to the book and improve it's readability. When I finally reached the last 30 pages I prayed for someone to staple my kneecaps together in order to relieve the boredom. I'm writing this review as a break before forcing myself to read the last 5 pages. I'm pretty sure they could have condensed this book in to about 1/4 the content by weeding out all the dull chaff.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Really enjoyable reading, 21 Feb 2009
By 
S. Gale "Stephen Gale" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies (Hardcover)
There have been a few books written about "social computing", but few that go much further than simply providing observations or commentary. This book is different. If you are trying to make some sense of what you see happening on blogs and social networking sites and are trying to work out what you and your company should do, then this book is for you.

It is written by a couple authors from Forrester, so it will be little surprise that it is really strong on the strategy front. It successfully manages to link what we are seeing happening today on the Internet to strategies for succeeding in this space. The first part of the book provides us with an understanding of how to match solutions to an organisation's specific customer base. Users are categorised according to whether they are: creators, critics, collectors, joiners, spectators, or inactives. This categorisation comes from Forrester's Social Technographics tool and you can find more information on the book's website [] and even generate your own profile. The blog on the website is very good, by the way.

The authors then match technical solutions to an organisation's objectives: namely, listening, talking energizing, supporting and embracing their customers. Part 2 of the book is dedicated to stepping through each of these objectives providing worked through examples of how organisations have succeeded in each of these domains. As you might imagine, adopting the appropriate technique for your particular audience is absolutely key.

If you are interested in Innovation, chapters 8 and 9 have some useful insights on the role customers can play in the innovation process.

In a area that is frequently over-hyped, this book provides significant insight and examples that reinforce what following a successful strategy can do for you and your company. If you are about to embark on your first venture into this space, I would strongly suggest that you read this book first. Highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Helpful Introduction to Engaging Customers through the Internet for Senior Executives, 19 Sep 2008
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies (Hardcover)
Groundswell is that rare combination in a business book: Simple concepts and detailed explanations of what to do and how to evaluate the results. I especially liked the case histories that measured the economics of customer engagement.

The authors draw on their experiences at Forrester Research to show how right and wrong you can go by listening to, speaking with, engaging, providing for, and cooperating with customers. They caution starting small and feeling your way. Otherwise, you may bite off more than you are able to absorb.

For smaller companies, you'll also find suggestions of lower-cost ways to use social technologies that you can afford. Naturally, the options are more diverse and expensive for larger companies. But if you are spending a lot of time on marketing research, advertising, and promotions, you will probably find social technologies a less expensive way to go. If you have major expenses for customer support, social technologies can eliminate a lot of those. In addition, social technologies can help you gain faster insight into defects. For the lean company, these approaches will also make a lot of sense.

I liked the book so much that I included several references to it in my weekly briefing to entrepreneurs who want to build major businesses.

If, on the other hand, you are doing a lot with private communities, help forums, executive blogs, and evaluating customer observations, you won't find this book to be advanced enough for you. It's more of a beginner's guide.
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5.0 out of 5 stars it's about attitude rather than technology..., 30 Aug 2008
By 
L. J. Harris (Oxford, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies (Hardcover)
`Groundswell' by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff is a thoughtful and clearly written book that is as much about attitude as it is about technology. It benefits greatly from the backing of Forrester Research which has provided the hard data illustrating the changing behaviour of online consumers and their growing use of web 2.0 technologies. Although much of this data is from the US, there are also some useful comparison tables profiling European and Far Eastern consumers by age, geography, political affiliation etc.

The book begins with a useful review of a range of web 2.0 tools that includes separate sections on how to use them, how they can help to build customer relationships and also how they may threaten established ways of doing business. It then moves onto the thorny topic of evaluation - how can you assess which of these tools are right for your company, and what should the timescales for introducing them be? Is the kudos associated with being at the `bleeding edge' of a new tool worth the increased risk of failure, or is it better to wait and learn from the mistakes of others?

Next the authors introduce their customer profiling categories which they rather dauntingly term `social technographics'. Do you know which of your customers are `creators', `critics', `collectors', `joiners', `spectators' or `inactives'? Clearly if most of them come into the final category (yes - the authors do acknowledge that there are still significant numbers of people who are not prepared to engage online) then your new social media strategy is going to be rather wasted...but understanding the profile of your customers allows you to develop appropriate strategies. If a high percentage of them are critics, then have you thought through how you will respond to negative comments they make on your blog posts? And how will you encourage the creators to contribute the sort of content that the spectators will want to read?

The remainder of the book focuses a chapter on each of 5 specific objectives that `early adopter' case studies of the Groundswell are pursuing:

* Listening (or `research' in old money)
* Talking (customer communications)
* Energising (sales)
* Supporting (customer support)
* Embracing (collaborative development)

The examples are bang up to date, and additional value comes from the sections in how the new policies will change the organisation once implemented, and also the ROI calculations to help convince the sceptics. The final chapter demonstrates how the Groundswell principles can be applied within organisations as a necessary precursor to effective external application.

In summary, the Groundswell is about attitude rather than technology. Social strategies can flourish only in a culture of openness where criticism is tolerated and responded to in a proactive manner, change is regarded as an opportunity rather than a threat, and senior managers actively support new initiatives. The book is less clear on how progression can be made within the many organisations that do not meet these criteria...and the end notes would give the text more weight if they were integrated within the chapters, but these are minor gripes. If your role involves implementing or teaching marketing strategy, or if you are an entrepreneur developing your own business, then you should read this book and open your mind to the fundamental changes that it recommends.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This is a "must read", 23 Sep 2008
By 
Bm Levitan "brucelevitan" (Glossop, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies (Hardcover)
Like the positive reviews above, I agree that this is a great book! I wouldn't agree with the reviewer who sites the case studies as banal - they are real world studies across a wide range of services so there's something for everyone, from those working in communications and media, through manufacturing and service delivery to health services and the public sector.

The writing style is clear, accessible and no-nonsense. I won't win any literary prises, but for this sort of book you wouldn't want anything else. One minor niggle was the formula used as the beginning of many chapters: "Fred is a (whatever) and here's his story..." - it grated a bit by the sixth or seventh time they used this device.

But that aside I can't fault it. It helps clarify one's thinking about what the social media groundswell is, and how to recognise its various manifestations, and it then goes on to give so0lid, practical suggestions for how you can adapt to and adopt the groundswell positively in your organisation.

As a companion to this I'd also recommend "Here Comes Everybody" by Clay Shirky.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good background document, 29 Sep 2008
By 
Mr. G. Carroll (LDN | HKG | SZX) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies (Hardcover)
Forrester Research occupy a unique position. They have access to the internet's great thinkers through briefings that they have with all the leading web service companies: Yahoo!, Google, Facebook and everyone in between. On the other side they act as a marketing consultant to a number of main street brands.

Li and Bernoff have crystalised the lessons that Forrester Research learned walking both sides of the street in the Groundswell. The book does a good job of educating the average consumer on the so called web 2.0 services and how consumers interact with them. They also provide a helicopter view about how to approach incorporating social web techniques into their business.

The most valuable part of the book is the anecdotes and case studies (some of which are from Forrester Research clients) which brings the concepts that they talk about to life. Their Social Technographics model provides a framework for segmenting audiences based on their level of interaction with web properties and communities.
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