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Groundswell: Your Moment Has Passed.

with 5 comments

So 2008.

I’m done with Groundswell.

Oh, I like the book. A lot. And the argument for an empowered people (via social technologies) continues to make excellent sense. Li and Bernoff did a great service by gathering facts and stories into a rational retelling of where we are today with hearing and connecting en masse.

When I first read Groundswell, emotive moments of recognition flickered constantly. Li and Bernoff led the way in helping me understand this unfolding opportunity lodged in my computer. But those moments are not just in my computer any more. They are on my phone, in my pocket and before my eyes as I walk.

It’s the ubiquity of the opportunity that makes everything look different.

Students in my class assume forums for support will be available, they turn to product and service reviews first—why wouldn’t they? Reviews from peers have always been available. These self-proclaimed 90s kids (I guess that’s a thing) interact in most of the ways that Li and Bernoff predicted. So there are few emotive flickers from them even as I shout “Yes!” (possibly to their “Huh?” and amusement). And these students demonstrate a familiarity with technology far advanced from students even two years ago.

So…wheels turn and time goes on and books fade to triviality. I’ll suppose I’ll check out Empowered next time I teach this class. The last thing anybody needs is another old guy in their life telling how things used to be.

And this: the Groundswell moment just passed has opened on a much wider vista that seems to invite collaboration like never before. To not listen to each other is starting to feel like a cardinal sin. Not because it dishonors the human condition (which it does) but because the opportunities in working together are beginning to look massive.



5 Responses

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  1. Onward and upward! We have a new book coming out in May (on Amazon for pre-order already) called The Mobile Mind Shift: Engineer Your Business to Win in the Mobile Moment. It builds on Groundswell and Empowered to help CEOs and their entire team master the impact of mobile customers on their products, services, marketing, platforms, and systems. Can’t wait for you to see it!

    Ted Schadler

    February 12, 2014 at 9:26 am

    • Just as I suspected! Thanks for the comment. I look forward to reading it.


      February 12, 2014 at 10:02 am

  2. […] Groundswell offered the example of, their Idea-Exchange and the grass-root effort to excise an annoying banner that always appeared. The company denied themselves, kept listening, and eventually removed the banner they loved and their customers hated. […]

  3. No, don’t give in to the social pressures of ageism!
    Groundswell is a fantastic book through which I’ve learned so much about social media and writing in general. It will continue to be relevant as long as we understand that we write for the audience, not for the technology.


    February 16, 2014 at 9:20 pm

    • Yes! And amen. Except: Times do change. But the basic idea remains just as relevant. Thanks for boldly commenting.


      February 16, 2014 at 10:01 pm

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