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May 07, 2007

Groundswell (the book): a preview

By Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff

There really is a book project behind this blog. We’ve been researching case studies and concepts like Social Technographics and now we're ready to solicit publishers.

What will set this book apart is 1) Lots of great consumer data, 2) global case studies with real people, 3) our access as Forrester analysts -- and our ability to promote a book like this, and 4) a focus on numbers, specifically, return on investment.

Now you, dear blog reader, get a preview. If you like it and think you’d like to get a copy, email us at groundswell@forrester.com and we’ll put you on our list. (Sorry we can't give 'em away for free -- but we're creating a list of those who are interested so we can let you when the book is available and where we'll be speaking about it.) And if you think something’s missing or you have any comments at all, just add your comments on this post or email us.

We've got an agent and a list of publishers waiting to see this, but hey, we're open. If you're a publisher of business books, contact us at jbernoff@forrester.com or cli@forrester.com. Or if you think you know the right publisher, tell him or her to have a look and send us an email.

Here's the outline.

Groundswell: Winning In A World Transformed By Social Technologies


Part 1. Understanding the Groundswell

Chapter 1. Why the Groundswell -- and why now?

  • Social forces and technology
  • Power comes from people connecting
  • Why companies have so much trouble with the groundswell

Chapter 2. Groundswell technologies and the future

  • The technologies of the groundswell
  • Blogs and monitoring, social networks, user-generated media, wikis, ratings/reviews, virtual worlds, widgets

Chapter 3. The Social Technographics Profile

  • The participation ladder: Creators, Critics, Collectors, Joiners, and Spectators
  • How we use the Social Technographics Profile
  • How social technographics varies by age, by nation, by brand

Part 2. Tapping the Groundswell

Chapter 4. Strategies for tapping the Groundswell

  • The threat and the promise
  • Jujutsu -- turning social phenomena to your advantage
  • Different urgencies for different companies -- the social technographics test
  • What’s your objective: Listening, Speaking, Energizing, Supporting, or Embracing?

Chapter 5. Listening to the Groundswell

  • The Groundswell is talking, are you listening?
  • Ways to listen: Monitoring, private communities, ratings and reviews
  • Case studies: private community, brand monitoring
  • ROI of listening
  • What you should do

Chapter 6. Speaking to the Groundswell

  • Ready to speak? Are you ready to listen, too?
  • Ways to speak: Blogs, Social Networks, and Communities
  • Case studies: blogs, participation in social networks, community
  • ROI of speaking
  • What you should do

Chapter 7. Energizing the Groundswell

  • Energizing the base
  • Techniques for energizing enthusiasts
  • Case studies: ratings and reviews, communities
  • ROI of energizing
  • What you should do

Chapter 8. Supporting the Groundswell

  • Users supporting users -- and money saved
  • Case study: blogs, Wikis
  • ROI of supporting
  • What you should do

Chapter 9. Embracing the Groundswell

  • Making your community collaborators into your product
  • Case study: embracing with communities
  • ROI of embracing
  • What you should do

Part 3. How The Groundswell Transforms

Chapter 10. Media Transformation

  • Roll your own media: Wikis, Digg, YouTube and del.icio.us
  • Media case studies
  • The future of media

Chapter 11. The Politics Of Participation

  • Case study: government and presidential campaigns
  • The future of politics

Chapter 12. The Groundswell within your company

  • Why social computing is relevant to companies
  • Employees as a social force
  • Command and control vs. the Groundswell
  • What it means for corporations: IT and HR
  • What it means for the CEO

Part 4. The Future of the Groundswell

Chapter 13. The Groundswell around the world

  • Case study: Brazil
  • Case study: Korea
  • Case study: France

Chapter 14. The next generation of the Groundswell

  • What happens when Generation Y gets older?
  • Social forces vs. institutional forces
  • The social world of 2018: disaggregated, collaborative, and fluid


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Roger Anderson

Your book looks exciting. My favorite topic is business transformation. That's why I wrote a book about it. It is also why I chose a different route to bring it to the public as soon as possible. For people as entrepreneurial as you are your route surprises me.

The sad thing is that with most mainstream publishers you may work with your book will not be available for months (6 -18), if not years (2-3). The schedule of publication requires many things and getting the timing right is just one of them.

It is surprising is that you have displayed so much of your content at this early stage. It is like having a patent and then trying to see if you can get a company started. The cart is already loaded for anyone with a horse ready to pull it.

You have a great blog. You have wonderful content. You have a built-in platform. You are a publisher’s dream. Why not show us how the expertise you have can be put to good use by taking a more entrepreneurial track with this.

If you would like I will trade you a copy of my book "Maps for Modern Magellans: Charts for Captains of Commerce" for a copy of your book, and I will tell you how you can have your book available in less than a week. This assumes that you have already had it edited (which you will need to do with any publisher) and you have the rights to all of your illustrations.

Actually, you probably already know how, you just have not considered the reasons that you should act faster. By the time your book comes out the Web 3.0 books will be on the shelves. You are letting others have the cake you should be getting.

It's your call. How can “Modern Magellans” such as you not lead the way to the better future? I am always amazed at how often experts (even I, if I may be so bold as to declare myself an expert) don’t follow their own advice.

I wish you the greatest success on whatever path you choose.

Josh Bernoff

Thanks for the long comment, Roger. You raise some interesting ideas about publishing.

We think our book IS exciting, and we're excited to be working on it.

It's our expectation that a publisher will become excited, as well. I hope we really are "a publisher's dream" as you put it. And an excited publisher means we, and they, can benefit from their promotional and distribution resources.

The ideas in this book will be current for a long time -- this is about a long-term trend, not what happened this week or this month -- so I'm not so worried about the publishing schedule. Would "The Long Tail" have been passe if published 3 months later? No, it's a powerful idea with legs. So's this book.

I find it interesting that you've positioned everything in such competitive terms. I don't worry about publishing our outline becuase the value is not in the outline, it's in the actual examples and data and storytelling. If anyone can publish a better book than ours based on this outline, good luck to you! There will be lots of other books before this, and after it. We just think ours is going to be one of the really good ones.


Beth B.

I find the way the chapters are organized very interesting. Infact, I kept trying to click over to find out more.... I guess I will have to just wait for the book.

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