February 24, 2009

Groundswell – Discussion 1

Posted in Discussion, Groundswell tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 4:22 pm by prbookgroup

Nick Lucido came up with some great discussion questions for Groundswell. In addition to discussing the book, let me know if you think there are ways to improve the discussions.

Part One – Understanding the Groundswell

1. Why the groundswell? And why now?

a. The groundswell is a social trend in which people use technologies to get the things they need from each other, rather than from traditional institutions like corporations.

b. Why now? Three things: people, technology, and economy.

i. The Internet will probably continue to change, but how? How will it be monetized?

2. Jujitsu and the technologies of the groundswell

a. The authors mentioned a lot of different technologies – some new, and some we’re more used to.

i. Which ones do you use?

ii. Which ones do you not use?

iii. What works?

iv. What doesn’t?

b. The authors also created a good guide in this section on how to evaluate new technologies. Let’s try it out.

i. Check out identi.ca

ii. How would the authors analyze this tool?

iii. How would you analyze this tool?

iv. When would you use this in a public relations campaign?

3. The social technographics profile

a. The charts in this chapter are fascinating. It’s so interesting to quantify who is using the Internet.

i. Which group will grow the fastest is respect to Internet usage over the next five years?

ii. How will this affect the public relations industry?

b. List of reasons why people use social networking. Are they missing anything? Why do you use different technologies?

i. Keeping up friendships

ii. Making new friends

iii. Succumbing to social pressure

iv. Paying it forward

v. The altruistic (it’s worthwhile) impulse

vi. The prurient (watching other people) impulse

vii. The creative (show off your work) impulse

viii. The validation (gaining expert credibility) impulse

ix. The affinity (connect with similar people) impulse



  1. Jared Bryan said,

    These are great questions. I will try to discuss a few points. Not sure I will answer them all.

    1. The Internet will probably continue to change, but how? How will it be monetized?

    This is a great question for many reasons. Recently, we saw Facebook do some crazy things with their Terms of Service. They saw an overwhelming response from the users that forced them to change back and re-evaluate the way they were handling the change. One blog I read asked why it has taken Facebook five years to figure out that they need to interact with their users, if this has been the focus of social media: relationships.

    I think we will see this monetized in a few different ways, but the key is going to be market research and direct marketing. Facebook and other social sites pull keys words from your page say “engaged” and begin to market wedding ads on the side of the page. There is no better way in the world to reach an audience than targeting someone interested in your product. Also, sites will begin to take your information and compile it into reports that they can sell to marketing firms. This is the best access to untainted raw data.

    2. Relationships

    I think this word summarizes my answer to most of the questions above, and is exactly what the book states:”Concentrate on the relationships, not the technologies.” Public relations has always been about relationships, and social media just makes them more accessible and more manageable. I think we will see an increase in participation by all of the groups as people see how easy these services are to use. However, if they substitute it for face to face conversations they will find themselves blowing in the wind.

    I am loving this book and have just a little bit left. More to come.

  2. Hello,

    I’m doing a chapter by chapter report on Groundswell that may be of interest to your book club. It includes a blog post for each chapter with a short video, sometimes a slide presentation and key things I’ve learned. There is also a friendfeed room I’ve set up where many of the case studies in the book are bookmarked. I’m doing this to better learn how to create a Groundswell. I read so many business books that I tend to forget and therefore apply the key concepts that I’ve read.

    I hope your book club readers find this useful in having conversations about the book. Here’s the jumping off point for my report: http://marketingthatmatters.blogspot.com/search/label/groundswell

    I’ll be posting your blog post in the groundswell friendfeed room.

    Chris Herbert

  3. Why Groundswell?

    Q: The Internet will probably continue to change, but how? How will it be monetized?

    A: There is no one answer to this. But, what I think social media services like Twitter, Friendfeed and others, have working for them is they have the ability to listen to the people that use them! How cool is that? I wonder though, if Twitter, has thought to ask users for ideas on how they can be profitable?


    Q: Which [technologies] ones do you use?
    A: Friendfeed for aggregation and creating communities; Blog for saying things and building credibility and a library of thoughts and ideas, and online projects, sharing my knowledge and experience; RSS – my “inbox” for thought leaders and creators of content, and feeds into Friendfeed; Twitter (Tweetdeck) for following people who are of interest to me and seeing what they say and share (almost like a human RSS feed); Youtube- for screencasts and embeds in my blog posts; Slideshare-for embeds in my blog posts. I’m also on Linkedin.

    Q: Which ones do you not use?
    A: Facebook, Myspace, all socal bookmarking sites (right now). Delicious is good for creating a corporate library of links for a company though.

    Q: What works?
    A:The stuff I’m drawn to use every day are: Friendfeed, Twitter, Gmail (not social media, but a web based service that is powerful), Blogger, Google reader, RSS. I don’t know whether Linkedin is working for me or not.

    Q: What doesn’t?
    A: Myspace, Ning, Facebook (still figuring that one out)

    Social Technographics Profile
    The STP is a great tool to use in order to implement the POST strategy. We always have to think about who the audience is and where they gather, receive and accept information. The STP helps you understand what your target audience likes to do when online. Some are creators, some critics and others spectators.

    I think in the coming months you’ll see more and more boomers starting to try social media and networking sites like Linkedin to build their networks and find new jobs. I would venture a guess that there are many professionals in their 40s and 50s who have no clue on how to set up a linkedin account, use twitter and set up a RSS feed reader. They need to learn about it and get involved.

    Social media and the internet is about creation, participation, conversation and making connections. It can be the glue to help you learn, share and network…and it can be a gas!

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