The one-sentence summary
In the groundswell people use technologies to get the things they need from each other, rather than from traditional institutions like corporations.
- This is a handbook for winning in a world transformed by social technologies.
- The groundswell is defined as a social trend in which people use technologies to get the things they need from each other, rather than from traditional institutions like corporations.
- It works through how they work, how people use them (participation), how they enable relationships, how they threaten institutional power, how you can use them, and what to do about them.
- There is a groundswell technology test (everything in the book is branded like this), which asks:
Does it enable people to connect with each other in new ways?
Is it effortless to sign up for?
Does it shift power from institutions to people?
Does the community generate enough content to sustain itself?
Is it an open platform that invites partnerships?
- It explains a Social Technographics Ladder on which groups of consumers become more involved in the groundswell: from inactives > spectators > joiners > collectors > critics > conversationalists > creators
WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT IT
- There is a four-step planning process called POST for establishing a groundswell strategy:
People: What are your customers ready for?
Objectives: What are your goals?
Strategy: How do you want your customer relationships to change?
Technology: What applications should you build? Note this comes last.
- Companies should pursue 5 objectives:
1. Listening: research and understand.
2. Talking: spread messages, and help them be self-spreading.
3. Energising: find your most enthusiastic customers and supercharge their word of mouth.
4. Supporting: set up tools to help customer s support each other.
5. Embracing: integrate customers into how you work.
- Companies need to start small but plan for larger; reach out their most active customers; plan to drive traffic to their community; build in a reputation system; and let customers lead them.
WHAT YOU HAVE TO WATCH
- The method is sound but unremarkable, and there’s a lot to wade through to get there, mainly because of the vast number of examples and case histories.