Dec 21, 2008

Groundswell Blook Report: Chapter One-Why the Groundswell and why now?

Groundswell is broken down into three parts. Part one (chapters 1-3) focuses on understanding the groundswell. The authors ask and answer the questions why the groundswell and why now?

FriendFeed Room: Chapter One references links and case studies from the book. Join the room and start a conversation.

Feature Video: Rodney Rumford of FaceReviews, Interviews Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff (note: works in Firefox but not Internet Explorer)

Video Timeshift Timeline
o:39 Why read Groundswell?
1:04 The P.O.S.T framework for creating your Groundswell strategy
1:33 Where the name Groundswell came from
2:42 Eating their own dogfood. Online tools used to support book
4:17 "Hey CMOs and Brand Managers. Wake up you have no control!"
5:50 Are companies listening for and to the groundswell? One example: H&R Block using Twitter to listen
7:30 Execs need to do more then ask what social media and networks are. Get involved!
7:58 Final words of wisdom

Top Five Things I learned:
1) Online communities can be powerful and do create change. Leaders like Kevin Rose, who on May 1/07, bet the farm when faced with legal consequences by putting faith in his community of enthusiasts who felt that Digg (and by extension them) should not be censored by anyone. This "act of community" is just one of many that have and are taking place now. People will talk about your company, the message they deliver will be theirs and they will weigh in on your decisions. In some cases they will influence your decisions..sometimes they will change them!

2) Things are the same AND different. People depend and draw strength from each other. Strength is created in numbers. There is a need to create community but in the real world it is hard to find people with similar interests. The internet, with social media networks and services, is making it cheap and easy for people to find, create and support communities of common interests and causes. The natural need for humans to group and converse is being enabled by the social media and online networks. These online communities are now manifesting themselves into IRL (in real life) events such as "Meetups" and "Twitups".

3) Businesses can be built online using shoestring budgets. Guy Kawasaki's site Truemors cost under $13K to launch. If this is not a positive sign given the recession I don't know what is! Online entrepreneurs can launch businesses fast and economically. Whether you are an independent professional or General Motors take heed and learn how to be this way!

4) The two most unlikely things are happening in the blogosphere! Many, but not all, big companies are ignoring or afraid of social media. Many, but not all, "older folks" just don't get blogging and all that "web 2.0" stuff. Bob Lutz the vice chairman of GM started blogging, in 2005, to establish a human side to GM. Bob is in his seventies! Big business is blogging and us older folks are leading the charge along with the younger folks like Kevin Rose. In fact GM is using their blog to engage with car enthusiasts and from time to time will use it to address erroneous and inaccurate statements made by automobile journalists.

5) Groundswells are or will be created around you. The book defines a groundswell as:

A social trend in which people use technologies to get the things they need from
each other, rather than from institutions like corporations.
The smart companies will embrace this phenomena because people will be sharing stories about their brand whether they be positive or negative. Learn with your customers and from the community.

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