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Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed By Social Technologies [Hardcover]

4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Aug. 1 2010
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.

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Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed By Social Technologies + Six Pixels of Separation: Everyone Is Connected. Connect Your Business to Everyone. + Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust
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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

About the Author

San Francisco-based Charlene Li is vice president at Forrester Research where her focus is on social computing and consumers. Previously, she developed interactive media for newspaper companies, and was a strategy consultant for Monitor Company. Boston-based Josh Bernoff, a longtime Forrester vice president, created Technographics segmentation - a breakthrough classification of consumers based on how we approach technology. Josh is also known as a top TV industry analyst; he led Forrester's research on top industry figures, their management teams, and the changes forced on the industry by devices and applications like HDTV and YouTube.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Groundswell April 24 2009
Good social media 101 and how to book. I find the technographic part most helpful - it breaks users down to different types (creators that actively create sites/content, through to critics, collectors, joiners,spectators and inactives). Depending on your target audience group, there will be all six types with different distribution. Your social media strategy should then be designed based on your user based according to their technographic distirbution.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
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.
Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Over 40 Must June 5 2009
This is an over 40 must if you want to analyze social media. It breaks down types of social media with traditional elements - relationships; identify the problem you want to solve and ROI. I have purchased a second book to give away and recommended to my colleagues.
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2.0 out of 5 stars a lot of air - no substance Aug. 10 2009
I found this book to be full of a lot of wind and no substance. They went on and on just trying to make one point. All the ideas in the book are old too. Nothing fresh or new.
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