Charlene Li’s Groundswell

Groundswell - by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff

Despite being the CEO of an internet-based education company, I have had difficulty in getting my hands around the discussions about Web 2.0 and social marketing. Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies“, authored by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff, may be the best text that I have read on the subject. The authors are partners at Forrester Research and provide 25 different examples of companies that have used relationship marketing, social networking, the internet, and various research tools to increase their customer satisfaction and either increase revenues or save costs. Their four step POST (people, objectives, strategy and technology) process for creating social marketing strategies is easier to remember for foundational purposes but important to consider implementing the technologies necessary. I enjoyed reviewing some of their charts that allow you to profile your customers regarding their critic/creator/joiner/spectator tendencies.

I read this book during a round-trip flight to the West Coast which is usually when I catch up on my sleep. I also sent emails to friends and colleagues recommending the book and took the initiative to subscribe to the Groundswell blog. I’ve even asked the gurus who maintain my website to add the same RSS or email subscription option. The book was great and I hope I learn a few things by subscribing to the blog as well.



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5 Responses to Charlene Li’s Groundswell

  1. Joe Rice June 9, 2008 at 11:50 am #

    Thanks for turning me onto this book and organization. I, too, have been reading their blogs and will be going to the Etail Conference in DC in August. It’s got me fired up to see how Kudda can take advantage of the social networks. Thanks

  2. William E. Sinkhorn June 13, 2008 at 9:14 pm #

    Although I am sure Mr. Li has his followers, the current trend is away from innovation, both in the point of hardware and software, in favor of security and more reliability. An excellent book on the topic which was just release is :

    “The Future of the Internet and How to Stop it”
    by Jonathan Zittrain
    Published by Yale University Press New Haven and London

    Mr. Zittrain points out that the trend is towards machines, which he refers to as “appliances”, which cannot accept new software other than proprietary software approved by the manufacturer.

    Mr. Zittrain also deals with issues in his book which threaten our civil liberties and property rights, such as cell phones being able to be used as eves-dropping devices even when not in use, the government’s use of GPS automobile navagation devices such as Tom-Tom and Garman to track our movements, and the instance of a camcorder company who lost a lawsuit and sent a code to its products to self destruct.

    Since this is a new item, if your library does not have it it will not be available through inter-library loan for some months; however, since this is such a high profile book most do have it in stock.

    Mr. W.E.Sinkhorn

  3. Michael July 16, 2008 at 6:35 pm #

    This might just be an appropriate place to ask a question about the status of APUS courseware. I often wonder why the basic functions of blogs are not available in the classroom. For example, it would be great if students could leave comments on the announcements page. Also, if I could keep up with class developments through a simple RSS feed it would really save me time versus signing into class and clicking around on different links each of which may or may not have any updates. Are there any plans to add these functions?

  4. Wally Boston July 18, 2008 at 8:59 am #


    Thanks for the comment. There is no easy answer or response, so I will attempt to provide a few thoughts.

    1) The idea of replying back to a professor’s course announcement in the announcements area is creative. I’m not sure if there’s any LMS that can do this. That said, I’m not sure that the announcements area is where many professors would want to encourage a dialogue with their students.

    2) RSS notification feeds from events in classroom. That’s an even better idea. Once again, I’m not sure that any LMS allows for this, but I think it’s a really good idea. One issue that works against a quick implementation is that Federal Student Aid (FSA) requires participating institutions to take attendance in the classroom. If the students were given RSS feeds to notify them of classroom changes, they might not login to the classroom as frequently and could possibly be withdrawn from the class due to the attendance rules of FSA.

    3) Our LMS, Educator, does have a student notification feature although it’s not RSS. Believe it or not, we discontinued using it several years ago due to the number of students who requested messages sent to their cell phones and who then complained when they received messages from us AFTER they had exceeded their monthly text message limit.

    Your ideas are great and I hope that we can find ways to implement many of them over the next few years.



  1. Too many Books, not enough Time | Serengeti Communications - June 23, 2008

    […] those out recently. The other week, I finished Charlene Li’s Groundswell (here’s a review of Groundswell), followed by the excellent Join the Conversation by Joe Jaffe (which I highly recommend), and […]

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