Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff define 'the groundswell' as a social structure in which technology puts power into the hands of individuals and communities, not institutions. We see examples of this all around us: Second Life, You Tube, Twitter, etc. The technology that is enabling this has created a permanent, long lasting shift in the way the world works. This compelling and research-based book will not only identify the emerging components of this shift, but will also help companies build their businesses around it, regardless of what specific new technologies come along. The word on social computing has been out for a while. It's game changing. Books like Wikinomics begin to describe what the networked world has become. But institutions of all kinds need more than descriptive context.They need tools to navigate the shift in power that social computing and web communities have created. They need data on how their customers use and perceive new media, and guidance about what it means to their business. More than that, they need sophisticated advice that tells them how to turn this new reality to their advantage. This book provides that data and advice. Li and Bernoff, well-known thought leaders in the area of social technology, have used their considerable resources at Forrester Research to generate hard consumer data that quantifies a viable business opportunity. Based on their work with dozens of companies presented in the book, the authors are able to credibly describe how business can participate in the new social medium in order to communicate with, energize, support, and learn from their customers.More importantly, their work offers proof that prepared organizations can reap significant financial benefits in product development, marketing, PR, sales, and customer retention. They will use their own proprietary data and additional survey research to illuminate the strategies appropriate for specific brands, media, outlets, institutions, and nations.