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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,...


Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Succeed using social networks - lean, barebones primer Feb. 20 2009
By Abhinav Agarwal - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book looks at one aspect of the Web 2.0 revolution: social networks, and almost succeeds, given its scope and length. Its scope is neither too expansive nor overly ambitious. It uses anecdotes to illustrate useful principles of how to succeed using the power of social networks. It does not aim to dissect web 2.0 startups, whether business or consumer focused, nor analyze the success behind web 2.0 successes as Flickr, YouTube, etc... And it certainly steers completely away from the technological underpinnings of web 2.0

This is a short book. Can be read cover to cover in less than two hours, with time for a coffee break. The chapters are short, to the point of reading more like sound-bites than containing anything in-depth. But, the anecdotes illustrating each chapter are interesting and pertinent.

This book won't give you anything substantial or authoritative on web 2.0, but it's better than some of the garbage out there. Read it, and keep reading on.
I would recommend these two books also:
Designing for the Social Web (Voices That Matter)
The Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture

**************

Different aspects of social networks are covered in each chapter. Therefore, chapter 2 is a brief overview of different social networks out there, like hi5, orkut, linkedin, facebook, myspace, twitter, and bebo.

Chapter 3 takes two social networks, LinkedIn and Facebook, and talks the reader through using these two similar yet different networks, followed by an ending paragraph on privacy. "While LinkedIn is interested in what you worked on last year, Facebook is more interested in where you're going this afternoon. It focuses on ongoing activities, and the redesigned site puts actionable updates--such as renewing your status, posting a photo, or sharing a link--front and center on your profile." Common sense advice is proferred on the issue of privacy, and with the continual flaps over privacy, be it Facebook or Google or some other vendor, it is useful to note that Ch3 ends with this sage advice: "Just use common sense and remember that social networks are all about communicating, and, as with any method of communication, that means keeping some things private and making other things public. The real interest in social networking lies not in what you choose to hide but what you choose to display."

Chapters 4, 5, and 6 essentially use examples of individuals to describe three aspects of social networks and how to succeed in using these networks: Johnny Chung Lee as a microcelebrity, Gary Vaynerchuk on the need for authenticity, and the (in)famous Sarah Lacy, with her very public fiasco of an interview of Facebook founder Zuckerbook, to highlight the need to take into account feedback loops that exist and how to benefit or recover from setbacks, or to leverage your passion for something you believe in. Johnny Chung Lee is a truly remarkable example of a microcelebrity, who hacked the Wii remote, Wiimote, posted about it and other hacks on YouTube, attracted 10 million hits on his (YouTube) channel, and got invited to TED, where his talk rose to become one of the Top 10 TED talks online!! The author's advice on authenticity? "When looking to start your own blog, vlog, or Web site, pick a topic that you not only know about, but one that you truly care about as well. Personal passion is contagious, and users will appreciate and reflect your own excitement."

So what about Sarah Lacy?
"Sarah Lacy is the kind of reporter whose stories are featured on the cover of Businessweek. Knowledgeable, hard hitting, and direct, Sarah, Aka Valleygirl, was set to interview mark Zuckerberg, the 23-year-old founder and ceo of facebook and one of the subjects of her book Once You're Lucky, Twice You're Good: The Rebirth of Silicon Valley and the Rise of Web 2.0"

"... when Mark Zuckerberg, 50 minutes into the one-hour interview and clearly irked by Lacy's unrelenting commentary and her revealing insider information, leaned over and said "I'm waiting for you to ask a question!," the audience responded with more than just a wave of laughter: They broadcast hundreds of complaints and snarky comments in real-time via mobile networking tool Twitter. Rallying behind Zuckerberg and encouraged by the camaraderie of their Twitter-based objections, the audience began to openly and unabashedly heckle Lacy."

So is (momentary) incompetence bad? No. Far from it.
"Despite the battering she had taken, that fateful--and painful--exchange boosted online pre-sales of Lacy's book that week by a factor of a thousand."

Sarah Lacy's response? A rationalization that went something like "...my annual income has more than tripled.... If the price to pay for that is getting mass attacked a few times a year, sadly, it's just the price."". Sadly, it seems like a classic case of confirmation bias. Someone should hand a copy of Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts to Ms Lacy as a reading exercise.

Chapter 7 is all about converting social capital into financial capital. "If financial capital can be summarized as "money" and social capital can be summarized as "friends," then cultural capital can be summarized as "influence."
Chapter 8 will appeal the most to many readers, as it attempts to analyze Barack Obama's internet campaign, and the three key factors (according to the book) behind its success.

OK, so this book won't give you anything substantial or authoritative on web 2.0, but it's better than some of the garbage out there. At under two hours, the investment it requires is a trifle. Read the book, go on, pick it up, read it, be done with it, and keep reading on.
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."
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