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July 25, 2009

Forrester Groundswell Awards -- I love the diversity

by Josh Bernoff

The third annual Forrester Groundswell Awards have been open for nominations for a month and a half. As in past years, the nominations will come flooding in at the end (the deadline is September 2, folks, don't be late), but I wanted to draw your attention to what we've gotten so far from an extremely diverse crowd of submitters.

Bacon brownies What do bacon, the United States Government, and a town in Australia devastated by brushfires have in common? They're all represented in this year's crop of nominations. If you're interested in seeing all the nominees so far, go to the Awards tab and you can review or vote on them. Don't forget to click on the submitter's name in each full entry, since that takes you to a spot on the Web where you can see anything they want to show off.

On the business to consumer side, we've received two entries for listening and one for talking. Oscar Mayer and Networked Insights are showing off "Bacon Lovers Talk" (BLT), a community that's delicious for everyone except bacon-hater Seth Godin, had reach #9 in search results for "best bacon," and attracted 197 daily visitors. Communispace, which won in the listening category the last two years, is back with a strong entry from Interncontinental Hotel Group. I like the way IHG uses not just insights but quotes and photos from its Communispace Community in its marketing -- the entry attributes a 24% lift in revenue to this.

Twitterusagov In the talking category it's your tax dollars at work -- the General Services Adminstration of the US government shows off its site usa.gov, organized not by department but by task -- the right idea when your users are citizens. USA.gov has 9,500 Twitter followers and the GSA's Office of Citizen Services is helping government agencies work with MySpace, SlideShare, YouTube, Flickr, and Facebook.

We have four entries so far in business-to-business categories, three for supporting and one for embracing. Publisher Meredith Corporation has attracted 1,700 members to its Farmers for the Future community on ning. A council for credit union managers is connecting people with peers across the country. And to help environment professionals whose careers have been affected by the recession in commercial real estate, Environmental Data Resources created a support community that is up to 3,900 members. We've also got an embracing app from Definiens for geospatial analysts.

Flowerdalevimeo The Social Impact category always surfaces some of the most fascinating and unusual applications. In a heart-rending story, you can read about the brushfire-devastated community of Flowerdale in Victoria, Australia, reached out with social apps from video to Facebook and raised over a million dollars. And you can see how last year's entry "The Mistake Bank" has evolved in this year's awards, it's now a ning community with 500 contributors sharing their biggest mistakes.

It's interesting to see how the early entries have bunched up. If you're interested in entering, not only is there still time to get us an entry, but whole categories like B2C supporting and energizing and B2B talking are still wide open. And while you can wait until the end, you'll get a lot more traffic and votes if you submit early -- we received over 150 entries last year. Remember that the winners will be those who are not only creative but can show proof of impressive business results in their entries. This year's B2C and social impact winners will get a free ticket to the Forrester Consumer Forum in Chicago where they can show off their skills at our awards cocktail party. So get those entries in!


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I found your book very interesting. I m in UK and doing a research on this same topic. IN UK, B2B community is still in its nascent stages and even TNS have not heard about TNS cymfony. This surprised me and if anyone knows about companies that do it in UK, i will be very thankful.

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