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33 Million People in the Room: How to Create, Influence, and Run a Successful Business with Social Networking [Hardcover]

Juliette Powell

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Book Description

Dec 18 2008

Social networks are no fad. They’re a permanent reality: one that offers immense opportunities to smart, innovative businesses. Now, top social networking consultant Juliette Powell reveals how dozens of innovators are driving real ROI through social networks—and how you can, too.

Powell’s wide-ranging research, including coverage on Barack Obama's successful online strategy in his bid for the presidency, focuses on technology, media and gaming companies, leaders in fashion, beauty, publishing, finance, retail, event planning, and beyond. These powerful narratives illuminate the reality of doing business on today’s social networks as never before. Through them, Powell introduces new best practices, shows how to avoid crucial pitfalls, and helps you prepare for the newest trends in online social networking.

Drawing on the latest research, Powell connects the dots, uncovering the human dynamics and patterns that consistently underlie successful social networking initiatives. Along the way, she offers practical tools and advice for optimizing every stage of your own social networking initiative—from planning through measurement, and beyond.

  • Getting on, getting started, and making social networks work for you
    Defining and implementing your optimal social networking strategy
  • Leveraging the amazing power of the microcelebrity
    Achieving worldwide impact in the niche that matters to you
  • Transforming social and cultural capital into financial capital
    Be generous, build your trusted personal network—and discover all you get in return
  • Profiting from the knowledge you never knew you had
    Opening your organization’s own social networking channels— inside and out

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About the Author

Juliette Powell is a social media expert and Founder of The Gathering Think Tank, Inc. (http://www.thegatheringwebsite.com), an innovation forum that connects technology, media, entertainment, and business communities.

Her decade long career began as a teenager, working in live broadcast television and naturally expanded into interactive/new media content and formats, bolstered by a lifelong interest in people and community-building.

With her deep knowledge of the people and technologies at the forefront of social media, Powell, a serial entrepreneur, has gained a solid reputation for discovering the latest developments and distilling their social and business implications. Her consulting services have been employed by corporate, government, and new media organizations, including Red Bull, Mozilla, Microsoft, Compaq, Trump International, Nokia, the United Nations, the Department of Justice, Paltalk, and Rocketboom.

She has served as a guest speaker at MIT’s Innovation Forum, NYU’s Interactive Technology Program, and the Producer’s Guild of America’s New Media Council. She has also assisted in the production of the world-renowned Technology, Entertainment, and Design (TED) Conference. Powell began her career as a television host, producer, and founder of Powell International Entertainment, Inc. (PIE, Inc.), an integrated media production and development company that produced special reports with newsmakers such as Nelson Mandela, Prince Charles, Sir Richard Branson, Steven Spielberg, and Tom Cruise. She also worked on projects with The Biography Channel, Women’s Entertainment Television, E! Entertainment Television, Cirque du Soleil, and Bravo. Most recently, Powell created Canada’s first cross-platform interactive show designed for TV, Internet, radio, and mobile applications.

Juliette is a dual citizen who lives in Manhattan, NY and maintains a residence in Montreal, Canada.

For more information about the author, visit juliettepowell.com

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Praise for 33 Million People in the Room

Praise for 33 Million People in the Room

“Juliette Powell has provided a timely crash course on how to leverage your business’s online presence. A must-read for any aspiring entrepreneur, activist, brand manager, or c-level executive.”

—Jeffrey Stewart, Serial Technology Entrepreneur; Founder,
Mimeo, Urgent Career, and Monitor110

“Reading Juliette Powell’s book is like perusing the secret trade documents of the most connected social butterfly. Upon first meeting Juliette, she immediately grabbed me by the arm and introduced me to the most important person in the room. When you pick up her book, it’s the same experience. She reaches through the pages and gives the reader entry to the halls of power through online networking.”

Amy Shuster, Editorial Producer, MSNBC

“Juliette knows her way around a social network; she regales us with tales and practical advice from the plastic porous mediascape of today.”

David Thorpe, Global Director of Innovation, Ogilvy & Mather

“If you are in business or starting one, and wonder what the heck all this talk about social networking is about, this book is the best quick guide I’ve seen. It’s full of juicy stories, backed up by sound social science, lucidly explained.”

Howard Rheingold, Author, Smartmobs; Professor, Stanford and Berkeley

“The exciting new world of online social networking is demonstrating the profound power of these truths to change the very fabric of society as we know it. Our interactions, relationships, and values are changing faster than most of us can comprehend. For some, the pace of this change is alarming. For others it is empowering. In 33 Million People in the Room Juliette Powell takes us on a fun-filled tour of this rapidly changing hypo-manic digital ecosystem simultaneously providing both practical advice and an insightful commentary on the increasing importance of authenticity in modern culture. Along the way we meet a hilarious cast of characters and gain a behind-the-scenes glimpse into real social networking success stories showing how to leverage the power of this modern phenomenon to achieve meaningful social and economic results for you and your business.”

Michael Spencer, CTO, ASMALLWORLD

“Juliette Powell has captured the strength, excitement, and opportunity of social networks in this compelling work. Opening with an arresting saga about Chris Anderson’s debut as the new TED owner, she deftly sketches vignette after vignette that will have you thinking—why not me? Social networking power is awesome for those who have experienced it—but most people remain skeptical, guarded, and untrusting. Give up control? All control? Well, as she explains—YES! I’ve tried it, using six hundred fifty ‘coauthors’ to write a book—a book no one could have written, but to which ‘everyone’ could contribute. It was hard, very hard at first, to relinquish control, just as Powell describes. But the benefits she outlines are real. Try it—you’ll see!”

Chuck House, Executive Director, Media X, Stanford University

“Digital society is all about expanding and energizing connections between people and ideas in ways we are just starting to understand. 33 Million People in the Room shares the perspective of an insider and shows us how business, entertainment, and politics all connect in the brave new world of social networking.” —Kenny Miller, Creative Director and EVP, MTV Network Global Digital Media

“If you thought social networks were just for kids, or geeks, or simply too frivolous for your time, then think again. Juliette Powell reveals the power of connections, the strategies to gain audience and the best practices to build community in this brisk-paced canter through the new tools and techniques for doing business. It’s jargon-free and an easy read for those who have never dipped a toe in the water, but even experienced networkers will find wisdom in its pages. Real-world examples make a compelling case for her notion that social capital makes sound business sense and when successfully established can translate into capital in the bank.”

Paul Brannan, Deputy Editor, News Interactive, BBC

“Juliette Powell has written a book that will advance your understanding of social networking whether you’re a nerd, Luddite, a savvy teen blogger, or, most importantly, a business person trying to gain an edge by embracing the latest Internet phenomenon.”

Joel Dreyfuss, Editor in Chief, Red Herring magazine

“Juliette Powell’s book 33 Million People in the Room is the perfect book for the class. Powell understands that social networking is the best way to find like-minded people online, either to pursue an interest, reach a particular goal, create or grow a business, or just to help establish a sense of community among people online and beyond. Bravo Prof. Powell for a job well done!”

Bill Sobel, Sobel Media, NY:MIEG, http://www.nymieg.org

“Juliette Powell has brilliantly answered in rich dimensions why you should be deeply involved in this new communications fabric. Through vignettes with the true leaders of this revolution, Juliette has set forth all the energy and steam you need for your boilers to get going and enter the room.”

Chris Brogan, Business Advisor, chrisbrogan.com

“Juliette Powell has delivered a wonderfully succinct snapshot for embracing social computing as a way of doing business, not just the latest technology trend. Whether you are new to making connections online or are a social computing technology veteran, Juliette encapsulates the themes, concepts, and ideas that are most relevant for anyone in business interested in working in or exploring social computing.”

Jeffrey Dachis, Cofounder, Razorfish, Inc.; Cofounder, Senior Partner Bond Art & Science;
Chairman, Producers Guild of America New Media Council

“Social networking is just not for breakfast anymore. 33 Million People in the Room demonstrates how it transcends marketing and promotion, connecting people and companies in ways none of us dared dream. Thanks to Juliettte for putting this in perspective, and to social networks for so many of my restless nights.”

David Blumenstein, Cofounder, The Hatchery

“Juliette Powell puts a human face on the social changes being wrought online, whether describing new tools like MySpace and Facebook, or key concepts like viral communication and social capital.”

Clay Shirky, Adjunct Professor, NYU’s Graduate Interactive
Telecommunications Program (ITP); Author, Here Comes Everybody

“We all recognize that social networking and the technologies of connection and collaboration are an enormous phenomenon. But what do they mean? How can they, how will they be used to create social and economic value? Drawing on her own experience and on the insights of The Gathering Think Tank, Juliette Powell has developed a powerful set of answers to those critical questions. Full of clear explanations, helpful examples, and accessible advice, 33 Million People in the Room is an important tool for managers and citizens alike—a sourcebook for the next economy.”

Lawrence Wilkinson, Cofounder and Vice Chair, Oxygen Media; Cofounder and President,
Global Business Network; Cofounder and Chair, Heminge & Condell

“Juliette has done a terrific job of capturing the power of and the opportunities presented by social networks. Whether you are looking to maximize the impact of ‘You Inc’ or a global company, there are important lessons in this book. Things have changed, again, and this book will help you capitalize on it.”

Doug Zingale, General Manager of Strategic Partnerships, Zune, Microsoft Corporation

“A nice introduction to an emerging global force that’s still unfamiliar territory to many business people. It’s a place where ideas can spread like wildfire and where great fortunes and even romances will be made and broken—yet no one is in charge. Depending on your perspective, what is described within this quick yet informative read, is somewhere between a utopian future where everyone is connected as one—and the end of civilization as we know it.”

Bran Ferren, Chief Creative Officer, Applied Minds, Former President,
Disney Imagineering, Creative Technology, and Disney R&D

“The network value of reading this book will be to increase your net value multifold, while thoroughly entertaining you with inside stories about the first social networking application, the uber-hip TED conference, and how an outspoken wine expert from New Jersey became an online micro-celebrity. 33 Million People in the Room is a thoughtful, analytical and practical how-to for anyone looking to learn about social networking, from a budding blogger to a Fortune 500 CEO. I recommend reading this book or watching your back as others do.”

Dina Kaplan, Cofounder and COO, blip.tv

“I came into what was not yet called Cyberspace in 1985 searching for a new context for community...a new ‘place’ that might provide for the kind of essential human interdependencies that were the substrate of little agricultural towns like mine in Wyoming, now withering along with the family farm. Since then, despite the explosive settlement of the Electronic Frontier, this dream has felt to me increasingly like something forever in the future. But perhaps not. Juliette Powell provides evidence that the spark of collective life is starting to sustain itself in this vast and mysterious ‘room’ where all of us may gather. Her book is a dose of practical hope at a time when we need it.”

John Perry Barlow, Grateful Dead lyricist and cyberactivist

“Juliette Powell isn’t just an expert in community, she lives it. Her ideas are a must for any person or company building a social network.”

Ori Brafman, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal bestselling Author,
Sway and The Starfish and The Spider

Foreword by Napier Collyns

Things are happening so fast. When I was a boy, only a handful of privileged people had phones and cars. The hand-delivered telegram was the quickest way to reach someone. Handwritten letters were treasured and often kept in perpetuity. Business was transacted in the same way. Fifty years ago, we used telexes to communicate between London and New York; the trans-Atlantic phone was too expensive. A few years later, we began to use faxes. And then in the early eighties, as electronic communication via personal computers emerged in academia, we adapted it in Shell for business purposes. At the same time, Stewart Brand started the Whole Earth ‘lectronic Link (WELL) to enable an emerging intellectual and cultural elite in the San Francisco Bay Area to communicate with each other, exchanging ideas, news, jokes, and personal aspirations. Stewart went on to help us found Global Business Network (GBN) in 1987 to enable business leaders to share their knowledge and ideas with the “remarkable people” we had chosen to form a visionary team of advisers across many disciplines. Before the Internet as we now know it got started, we were already communicating continuously through our private corner of the WELL. Increasingly businesses and governments began to use the new channels of communication for collaborative thinking, decision-making, and speed of action.

One day about four years ago, I received an e-mail from Juliette Powell asking to meet me. She had recently formed The Gathering Think Tank with a group of young entrepreneurial leaders in technology, media, policy, art, science, innovation, and business. I told her about our aspirations in forming GBN—to bring together leaders of major corporations with prominent and exceptional thinkers, artists, and innovators who could share their knowledge and instincts about where the world was going and ways to respond. The idea was to create scenarios of the future that would help business leaders imagine different possibilities and share an intuitive sense of where things might be headed. Juliette and I were “e-introduced” through a mutual acquaintance who insisted that The Gathering Think Tank was the twenty-first century version of GBN and its “remarkable people.” He went on to say that of all the founders of GBN she should meet me, because she was ostensibly “the next generation Napier Collyns”!

With Juliette’s knowledge in media, new media, and technology and my experience of getting leaders to sit down and engage with the ideas of other people, we began to explore new ways of collaborating and doing business. So many new methods of exchanging information, ideas, and beliefs—both publicly and privately—had been developed through the proliferation of electronic communications that it was now possible to instantly share ideas with literally millions of people or just the few or the one you select. Juliette seemed to have all this in her head both from personal experience and from a kind of instinctual grasp!

That’s why I wanted Juliette to write this book: To help people, old and young, to participate in this new business and learning opportunity. She started teaching my colleagues and me to take advantage of the new social networking tools, which have helped us in our business as well in our personal lives. Now her book delivers those critical lessons to a much broader audience. Every single reader will learn something new, and each of us—from corporate executives to college graduates just starting their careers—will apply that knowledge in different ways. I am sure Juliette would be happy to coach any company that wants to dive deeper into this new world with greater confidence and craft and implement a tailor-made, winning social media strategy. As you read this book, you will see how these amazing new ways of social networking can lead you to more innovative and effective ways of doing business and staying connected.

Napier Collyns spent thirty years as an international energy executive. In 1987, he cofounded Global Business Network, now a member of Monitor Group, with Peter Schwartz, Stewart Brand, Jay Ogilvy, and Lawrence Wilkinson.

Foreword by jimmy wales and andrea weckerle

Wikipedia—a strange word no one had ever heard before it was coined in 2001. Today, less than eight years later, it is estimated that nearly one billion people have used the website. For many of them, Wikipedia has become a household word. Building a global brand like that, instantly recognizable by hundreds of millions of people, traditionally took decades and tens or hundreds of millions of dollars in marketing.

However, in creating and building Wikipedia into a household brand, the Wikimedia Foundation, the charity Jimmy founded to operate the project, spent nothing on marketing. Not one cent. Wikipedia essentially grew by word of mouth, as the excitement felt within the Wikipedia community spread one person at a time to bloggers and web masters, who in turn spread it to their readers, and their friends, and their mothers, and so on and on and on.

Using examples like this one and others featured in 33 Million People in the Room, Juliette Powell explains how businesses, large and small, are using modern online tools to cut through the clutter and reach their audience in new ways. Powell outlines how the use of social networks will help readers expand their business, reduce risks, and reduce costs—whether they are entrepreneurs at a small business just starting out, the marketing manager for a stable business that is decades old, or the CEO of a Fortune 500 company doing something as high tech as creating semiconductors, or as low tech as operating a corner wine shop.

In addition to discussing some of today’s most useful social networking tools and explaining how they are relevant to different situations, she drives home the point that every individual has the ability to increase their social capital—the network of relationships and the resources available and accessible therein—and their cultural capital—the influence and corresponding advantages resulting from that person’s knowledge, experience, and connections—which in turn have a positive effect on an individual’s ability to increase his or her financial capital.

Amidst the tech and consumer examples she uses to illustrate her points, Powell also throws in bits of fascinating information such as the UCLA and Boradex study that discusses the correlation between a company’s highly networked employees and the ability of that company to make better policy decisions and investments and therefore improve its bottom line.

Notably, some of the book’s most historically interesting sections involve recent United States politics. One recent example is Barack Obama’s 2008 win of the U.S. Presidency, where Powell dissects Obama’s internet campaign:

“The runaway success of Obama’s internet campaign rests primarily on three key factors, first among them a significantly larger financial investment in the online arena than those of his opponents. Obama’s campaign spent 10 to 20 times more on banner ads and sponsored links than his fellow candidates, running ads across a wide array of sites ranging from large newspapers like the Boston Globe to political blogs like Daily Kos and the Drudge Report. The second key factor in the campaign’s success was its lack of direct, in-your-face sales approaches. Clicking on an Obama banner ad led users not to a donation page, but rather to a form where they could sign up for campaign event invitations. Only after submitting the form were visitors asked to make a donation. By avoiding outright sales tactics, Obama confirmed his sincerity and sent supporters a clear, though unspoken, message: allegiance is more important than money. The third factor of Obama’s campaign, and the one that would take his message from a core group of ardently devoted followers and straight into the general public, lay in his deep understanding of the online world.”

The other is Al Gore’s still controversial loss of the bid for Presidency in 2000:

“In the United States presidential election of 2000, Al Gore won the popular vote but ultimately, thanks to a decision handed down by the Supreme Court, lost to Republican candidate George W. Bush. The defeat was humiliating, but through it, Gore would learn an invaluable lesson; one that would ultimately help him to change the course of history. With the defeat of Gore the politician, Gore the man could stop thinking about how he was supposed to act and start just being himself.... Perhaps the real key to Gore’s success in creating such widespread awareness of global warming was in a combination of his ability to passionately and convincingly communicate what he knew on the one hand, and on the other, in his shrewd ability to disseminate his message through his vast personal social network as well as to the multitudes of people who knew about him.”

33 Million People in the Room is a slender book, but don’t underestimate its importance just because it is less than 200 pages. Lots of business-type books are dry as a bone, but this one is engaging and fun to read. It can help you learn to do what Jimmy did with Wikipedia—for yourself, or for your business or charity. If you don’t understand the social nature of the web and make use of it to be successful, your competitors most certainly will.

Jimmy Wales, Founder of Wikipedia and Andrea Weckerle, Communications
Consultant & Entrepreneur New York City, Autumn 2008


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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  29 reviews
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommend if you are looking to learn about social networking and why it is relevant to you. March 26 2009
By David Gusick - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I highly recommend this book to anybody trying to get their head around the concepts of social networking and why it may be relevant to you.

This book really clarified in my mind, why it is so important to put yourself out there and make growing your network part of your daily ritual along with eating a healthy breakfast and exercise. In all three cases, the benefits may not immediately felt, but over time the payback is indisputable!

Each chapter contains important lessons of how to leverage the tools that now exist so that you can establish and grow your brand online. The story of how Gary Vernechuck, a 22 year old, transformed his parent's wine business from $2 million a year to $45 million a year and became a mini-celebrity in the process is a lesson that can be applied by both individuals and corporations.

In today's down economy, creating a rich network of people that you can tap into is more important than ever before. Need a job? Need a recipe? Need advice on where to stay in the south of France? The more people who know you directly relates to the more people who can help you achieve your goals whatever they may be. It worked for Obama (he tapped into the social networking to raise huge amounts of campaign funds), it can work for you too.

The tools that Juliette gives you in this book can easily be applied by anyone regardless of your field. These are the ingredients you need to know in order to become a 'mini-celebrity'.

The book is both a practical guide for anyone looking to carve out a niche online and get their brand noticed.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational! Feb. 24 2009
By Jinsey Dauk - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Wanted to review this soon as I finished, but I was so chock full of ideas that I just had to start implementing them as soon as possible.

Safe to say that I'm a newbie to all this but her stories certainly served as an inspiration! The book helped stimulate me, and gave me ideas about how to proceed on promoting my small biz on Facebook. It also taught me how not to be overwhelmed. It gave me a sense of freedom. I now have fun with Facebook and look forward to seeing where this journey will take me - and my biz!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good overview of how to use social networking and information to brand and gain competitive advantage... June 24 2009
By R. Neil Scott - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
While much of this thin volume focuses on advice as to how to develop and maintain one's online social media persona, I found the introductory discussion of networking useful as well, namely: "...In business, it's not just about WHAT you know. It's also about WHO you know and how well you use those relationships." For example, "socially well-connected CEOs [are] more likely to make more money...are far less likley to be fired for poor performance, and [are] more likely ...to find new and solid employment when shown the door."

I enjoyed the thoughtful discussion of the role and influence of information flow on corporate and social organizations -- specifically, how companies are influenced by the social connections of its employees and how the information they have access to serves as a competitive advantage within their "universe," that helps them to make better policy decisions, better investments in human and material capital, and to use these advantages to improve the bottom line.

The author, Juliette Powell, who promotes herself as a "social media expert," contends that the more an organization hires highly networked employees, the better chance it has of being at the center of its network -- or "universe" -- and, thus access to information that leverages their competitive position.

Discusses the impact of hiring, firing or losing through death, highly connected board members, making the point that "connected people are hubs of information [with]...enormous impact on both the inner workings of a company and how other firms perceive the company." Of particular interest is the finding of a study of 30,000 executives in 2,000 firms tracked from 2000-2006, that "when highly connected people die, so to do the connections between their companies" in the universe that the company operates in.

Follows with a case study of how Gary Vayerchuk used social media to brand and increase market share of his wine business. Using the idea that: "content is King, distribution is Queen, and marketing, along with business development are the Aces in the hole," he participates in online wine forums, chasing fans and spreading his brand through online community building. Follows with face-to-face emotional bonding and contends that "because you are putting out great content and you are building brand awareness, you will find money and money will find you."

Good book to read on a trip when and if you have time to think about implications for one's own organization. Recommended for college, university and public library collections.

R. Neil Scott
Middle Tennessee State University
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The shift in power to consumer voice . . . Dec 16 2009
By Jennifer E. Sertl - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
If Jerry and I go to our community coffee house for a networking breakfast and each of us has 25 contact names in our Blackberry, we would have as Juliette Powell so brilliantly puts it "33 million people in the room" That is the number of potential relationships available through our modest network of 25 people each. Adding just one person to our exchange can create the potential relationships of almost 1/6 of the world population. Social capital--who you know and the power of those relationships is a recent phenomenon that is dramatically transforming how business is run. The world is flat and we all are competing on our adaptability--how quickly can we get versed in the new economy and leverage tools available.
Powell is a map maker providing direction and longitude and latitude for as she says, "how to create, influence, and run a successful business with social networking." She shares some of the most popular sites, back stories on Wikipedia and the Obama campaign, and has become the Anne Landers of proper social media etiquette. It is hard to believe that Facebook has more users than the United States has people. It is hard to believe that people are getting hired and fired based on what appears on Google. It is amazing that one person who has a bad experience with a company can write a blog and literally cause the business to go bankrupt.
For individuals, the greatest message is to be incredibly thoughtful of every communication you post. These posts are going to be your legacy. You almost have to reverse engineer your vision of yourself and make sure that every choice, every word, every message is aligned with that vision. You will absolutely be judged by your participation, the groups you join, and the language you use.
For companies, the greatest message is that social media is a double edged sword. One side allows you to get deeper data on potential hires, and ability to penetrate the social networks of your employees. The intangible asset of human capital is becoming much easier to make tangible and to bottom line. The side of the blade that cuts is that you are forced to pay even more attention to the customer experience and also the employee engagement process. Customers have more power to impact your brand reputation. You will be judged more harshly on every interaction and responsiveness. If you are not prepared to pay more attention to social media--you are going to miss critical research on your customer's voice and also the 1440 minutes they are spending when they are not purchasing from you. As far as employee engagement, if you don't create great employee Ambassadors your brand reputation may be tarnished because of angry or frustrated employees. The exponential repercussions
of bad experiences both internal and external are accelerated because of immediacy and virality of social media.
I was at an event recently and a prominent CEO of a manufacturing company was asked, "Do you have a social media strategy?" The person responded, "No, haven't thought of if. Doesn't seem relevant in our market." I Federal Expressed this book to that CEO with a clear message, "Rethink your social media strategy."
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this book March 2 2009
By Robin Keyser - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Juliette Powell's book is a breath of fresh air in a new surge of books on social networking. This is my 5th book on the subject this month and easily the most informative. I was especially liked her call for ethics and authenticity and it's importance in the success of any business using the internet for marketing purposes. I will reference this book often as I navigate the sometimes intimidating world of the social network. Thanks Juliette!

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