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January 06, 2011

What did Groundswell mean to you?

Groundswell with stickies I know from meeting and working with many of you that Groundswell has been useful. People who read it say some very nice things about what it did for them . . . and what happened whey they gave it to their boss.

Well, we're finally doing a paperback edition. It will include two new chapters -- one on Twitter, and one on the stages organizations go through as they adopt more social applications.

It will also include a few words from you.

I'd love to hear what Groundswell meant to you or did for you. Just add a comment to this blog post, or send a tweet with the hashtag #groundswell. We'll include a bunch of them in the paperback edition.

We're not looking for the biggest names here -- just sincere words from real people. I can't wait to see what you say. Needless to say, if we use your quote, we'll send you a copy. (It's due out in June.)

And finally, with as much humility as I can muster: thank you. Without you, I'm nothing.

Photo: http://www.territoriocreativo.es



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Aaron Mandelbaum

I've been recommending Groundswell since it came out. I recommend it to executives who are not tech savvy and any managers, students and strategically minded people looking to make a REAL impact. I use examples from the book constantly. As far as I've seen its the best book on social media for business. It avoids all the, "get rich quick using Facebook" clutter that is online these days. Clear, real-world examples of communication and technology in effective and efficient harmony. It's a required prerequisite for business in the 21st century.

Tom Schmitz

I keep copies on my desks at work and at home. I cannot count the number of clients I have recommended or given this book to.

Steve Sonn

Groundswell was the first book I read about social media and it was before I had much experience in the area. The book truely opened my eyes to see the impact and potential of social media for business and society. I am very grateful for the book and the wealth of knowledge and insights it has provided. Groundswell was the spark that ignited my interest in social media, and I have since benefitted both personally and professionally.

Tony Boyajian

Groundswell has opened doors for me. It's given me the tools and confidence I needed to take my company into the world of social media.

Michael Taggar5

Groundswell remains the most powerful and inspiring account I have ever read on the cultural changes seeping into our world because of the digital revolution that is underway.

The title is, to date, the most accurate metaphor anyone has conjured up to capture the pervasive and growing influence of social technologies for it cannot be stopped. Yet it is to be respected, not feared; channelled, not ignored.

Bernoff and Li's book is the reason I gave up a career in traditional media relations and became a 'head of digital' - so it's genuinely not an exaggeration to say it changed my life!

Anna Miotk

I've finished reading the book just yesterday. It is amazing how the trends you described are still up-to-date after 3 years: many companies are conscious that dialogue with their clients is more and more important, but they afraid of using social media in open manner.

The book gives also a simple, easy to deploy patterns how to decide on specified Web 2.0 technology. But I would appreciate if in further editions also examples of smaller companies were placed. When a company has for example 500 clients, how it should choose social media tools?

Tristán Elósegui

For me Groundswell represents the first approach to Social Media for professionals.

Whenever I'm asked about a book to read and really understand Social Media I always recommend Groundswell as a "must" first option.

After reading this book you can read the rest, but never before. Groundswell is the best book to establish your social media “foundations”.

Madrid, Spain

Olivier Le Pord

I heavily use the content and examples in my work with many people around the world. I offered the book to colleagues from Brazil, Russia, India, Mexico, Poland, etc. A great way to approach the subject with a simple a clear and simple vocabulary.
Thanks again!!

Greg Flory

A common framework and language, through which we help clients create uncommon conversations and relationships.

Lance Agena

Groundswell put a lot of common sense we knew about social media into an organized structure and validated it as a valuable skill set. Thank you for your work!

Chris Syme

Groundswell was a paradigm shift for me, and has become a bible, of sorts. Every strategy I develop now as a social media marketer is based on the work you did in Groundswell. It was a much-needed treatise at a time when a lot of us were floating along wondering what to do. I use the info at every workshop I do on social media. Thanks.

Frank Fortin

I read Groundswell right after it came out. It unlocked the mystery to me of why our social media efforts were failing - because we were focusing on the technology and not on the people.

Jess Nichols

Groundswell is the only book I have ever recommended to people interested in the web. It showed me that Social Media wasn't a passing fad and really encouraged me to pursue my career in the online industry.


Mike Rivera

Groundswell is simply the best social media primer you can read regardless of industry, profession or title.

Ayala Rahav

I read Groundswell when it just came out and it influenced me tremendously. On top of the information and fascinating analysis, it touched a personal cord and gave me a strong motivation to pursue what was then a radical way of thinking.It gave me a strategic perspective and a sort of calibration for my ideas and strategy concepts I devised that were outside the box and revolutionary, felt right and even inevitable, but I did not have context to evaluate how detached I am, especially since I live in Israel. After reading groundswell I felt that the chasm is a market chasm and that I can trust my instincts and concepts, even if it's too early, as there's a world movement in these directrions and eventually this language will have its place. Especially when you affirmed that once this mental chasm is crossed - there's no going back.
It gave me a new boost of motivation and assertion and a feeling of inclusion in emerging trends.

Tony Faustino

Groundswell continuous to make a lasting impact in my social media thinking because of how it used credible, fact-based analysis and research to:

1. Define the relevant social technologies

2. Provide an evaluative framework for the social technologies I should consider in my individual case (or for another organization). Maybe, the better lesson it taught me was to ask the question "what would be the purpose or goal for participating in social media in the first place."

3. Target the social technologies to specific audiences (and why)

4. Provide examples of how to measure / evaluate the impact of those social technologies with those target audiences

I consider Groundswell's lessons and thinking timeless. To me, it's the defacto bible on social media strategy execution.

Dustin Dolatowski

When it came out, I was already aware that the book was getting buzz. I added it to my team's book club and we all were blown away by the combination of its simplicity and tremendous breadth of knowledge. From that point forward, it's a book that we provide all of our clients to understand the 5 W's of social media. It has helped us in multiple deal creations and closings.

Josh Bernoff

Thanks for all the nice comments. Blushing slightly.

These will be nice to read in the new edition. We'll be in touch.

If you just got here . . . feel free to add more.

Pamela Jordan

I have been an avid fan of Groundswell since being introduced to it through the Forrester community. I have bought it as gifts for colleagues and I am now using it as the one and only textbook for a graduate level digital advertising class I'm teaching this spring.
Well done, Josh!

Cari Sultanik

Groundswell literally launched my Social Media career. Using what I learned, I was able to develop a small consulting business and ultimately direct Social Media in a mid-size company, evangelizing the program and building it from the ground up. Having grown up 3 doors down the street from Josh, I had no doubt it would be educational; what I didn't know is that it would be life-changing. Can't thank you enough.

Alison Cummings

Groundswell was truly a life-changer for me and I will always be grateful. Milestone one: Being let go the day after announcing that every member of our company's global Web Forum was to receive a copy of Groundswell. Milestone two: Realizing how relationships based on authenticity, transparency and trust can empower individuals (and scare the hell out of others). Milestone three: Becoming a social media + technologies consultant and blogger. My first interview: Charlene Li.

Alison Cummings

Austen Trimble

If social media were a religion, Groundswell would be the bible! This book sets the benchmark for genuine, effective use and leverage of social media in the web 2.0 era.

Tristán Elósegui

When will this edition be released? My quote has been selected and I'd like to have a copy of this edition.

Thank you!

Best regards,


C Hays

A wonderfully interesting, readable and informative book. Using the groundswell principles outlined within I've successfully lead a team in designing and implementing an intranet that energizes and informs our staff through the use of wiki's, forums and blogging. The message is so clear, simple and effective: "focus on the relationships, not the technology!"


I have never heard of Groundswell until now. Sounds like an informative book.

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