Right now, your customers are writing about your products on blogs and reediting your commercials on YouTube. They’re defining you on Wikipedia and ganging up on you on social networking sites like Facebook. These are all elements of a social phenomenon — the groundswell — that has created a permanent, long-lasting shift in the way the world works.
Most companies see the groundswell as a threat. But you can see it as an opportunity!
That’s the reason that Charlene Li and her Forrester Research colleague Josh Bernoff wrote their new, appropriately named book Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies.
In the book, they describe the strategies and stages every company needs to go through to listen to, talk to, energize and embrace the groundswell. I had a chance to catch up with Charlene to get some answers to questions that came to me as I read the book and compared my social strategy with their recommendations. So I hope you enjoy this podcast …
Charlene is one of the leading voices in the area of Social Computing and Web 2.0 through her work over the past nine years with the respected technology and market research company Forrester Research. She is one of Forrester’s most quoted analysts. An accomplished and frequently requested public speaker, she often appears at industry events and delivered the keynote speech at Forrester’s Consumer Forum in 2007.
Charlene analyzes how companies can use technologies — like blogs, social networks, RSS, tagging, and widgets — to meet business objectives. She started her own analyst blog in 2004 and is regularly cited as America’s most influential analyst blogger. She shares her blog with Josh Bernoff.
Previously, Charlene led the marketing and media research team at Forrester and ran its San Francisco office. She has also been publisher of interactive media for Community Newspaper Company, a group of newspapers in Massachusetts, and served on the board of directors for the Newspaper Association of America’s New Media Federation. Charlene has managed new-product development for the San Jose Mercury News and has also been a strategy consultant for Monitor Company. She holds an M.B.A from Harvard Business School.
Charlene lives in San Mateo, Calif., with her husband and two children, all of whom are happy, engaged members of the groundswell.