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« Rate the social applications submitted for the Forrester Groundswell Awards | Main | Groundswell analysts from Jupiter/Forrester/US/EU: Yes, it blends! »

August 18, 2008

How to win a Forrester Groundswell award

by Josh Bernoff

That's right, I'm going to tell you what to do to win.

  1. Build an application that delivers powerful value to a business (or cause). I hope you've already done, this, because if you haven't, it's probably too late to finish one and prove it worked between now and the deadline, September 9.
  2. Don't wait until September 9. Submit as soon as you can. The sooner you submit, the longer people have to vote on your application. While the most votes won't make you win, it may certainly bring good things about your application to my the judges' attention.
  3. Make a Web page that sums up the value of what you created. The URL of that page is what you should submit in your entry. The Web page might be a Powerpoint, a PDF, a blog post, or even a video (C.B. did a good job with a blog post). Whatever works for you.
  4. If your application is open to the public, make sure to include an easy-to-spot link to it in the page you created in Step 3. Make it easy for us to find and play with evaluate your wonderful application!
  5. Pick one objective and stick with it. I know your application does everything amazingly well. But what does it do better than anyone else? Generate insights? Then it's a Listening application. Spread messages? It's a Talking application. It could be great for energizing customers, supporting them, or embracing their ideas, or helping a company manage better -- pick the one you do best and enter in that category.
  6. Create a screen shot or graphic that reflects your application's value, post it online, and include its URL in your submission. Remember, this graphic will be seen by everyone perusing your application, and we'll show it on a 15-foot high screen if you win.
  7. Prepare your 1000-character descriptions of how it works and what makes it great.
  8. Before submitting, look over the other submissions in your category. You might get some good ideas from looking at the other entries.
  9. After you've done steps 1 through 8, fill out the form.
  10. Using your blog or any other means you have of encouraging your friends, send them to our site and encourage them to vote on your application. Lots of votes doesn't mean you will win, but it will certainly get our attention!
  11. Don't whine that you didn't know about the deadline, September 9. I had enough of that last year. No one who submitted late was even a finalist. A deadline is a deadline.

Hope this helps.


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C.B. Whittemore

Josh, thanks for mentioning my blogpost approach to submitting an entry. The blog format seemed extremely appropriate for a groundswell award. I'm enjoying reading the entries and looking forward to learning more as a result of this program.



We have just launched our website, http://www.tradememe.com this week and we would like to know if we can submit it for the award. It is a business news aggregator and we are not sure in which category to submit it.

Thanks and best regards,


Josh Bernoff

@Alan: See our FAQ at http://www.forrester.com/Groundswell/faq.html for a description of the categories.

The category depends on your objective. Are you trying to encourage people to recruit others, enable them to support each other, or some other objective?


Are you going to do this again next year?

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