Saturday, July 12, 2008

Reading :: Groundswell

Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies
By Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff

Just a short review tonight. Groundswell is another social media book focused on how corporations, particularly marketers, can stop worrying and love social media. It's not a bad book, and I particularly liked the fact that much of it was based on research performed by the authors and their employer, Forrester, Inc. I also appreciated that the book tried to make sense of social media by deducing and presenting a strategic approach to using it within one's own business.

On the other hand, the book does not have a lot of new insights to offer. If you've read The Cluetrain Manifesto or Wikinomics, or for that matter Scoble's or Jarvis' blogs, there's not a lot of news here beyond some finer-grained work on strategy. And that grain is not that much finer: the book still speaks in very general terms. The book also relies heavily on stories and anecdotes, many of which have the shelf life of lettuce.

If you're interested in what this whole social technologies thing is about, Groundswell is not a bad place to start. But you may get more from reading a broad cross-section of tech blogs.

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