My Twitter Encounter with ‘Groundswell’ Authors

Over the weekend, I have an interesting encounter with Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff, authors of the book, Groundswell – Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies (Harvard Business Press, 2008), on Twitter. While reading, I was twittering ideas extracted from the book and thoughts that bubbled up (see below – extracted from ‘’):

While I was tweeting on Groundswell, quite unexpectedly Josh Bernoff tweet’ed me. Then, he was scanning tweet conversations on ‘Groundswell’. A few hours later, Charlene Li messaged me: “I loved your chapter by chapter tweets.” How unexpected! (See below)

This is an interesting case of how authors (and businesses, celebrities, etc.) can easily scan tweet conversations, with apps such as Summize and Twitscoop, and feel the ‘social pulse’ and listen to opinions about their products, brands, etc. Tools such as Twitter and Technorati are powerful tools to understand the mind of your customers.

Li and Bernoff wrote in Groundswell, “in the era of groundswell, listening is easy. Not listening, on the other hand, is criminal” (p. 93). They went on: “Listeners inevitably feel the temptation to respond by talking within the groundswell, by publishing blogs, contributing to user-generated content sites, and setting up communities” (p. 98). Both Groundswell authors certainly walk their talk!

Groundswell is an excellent how-to book. It offers insights into how enterprises can leverage the ‘social’ forces to build brand, create & sustain customer relationships and innovate offerings. It provides interesting perspective on the emerging nature of producer-consumer relationship. Additionally, the case studies presented in the book are both engrossing and enlightening. For those who are interested to understanding social technologies and its impact on the way you ‘listen’ and ‘talk’ to your customers, do yourself a favor and read the book!

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