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why we are so important: The Groundswell

One of my favorite bloggers, Ron Miller, who I unabashedly write about from time to time, has written another stunning post that happens to align directly with my current goings-on. His post illustrates one of the things that I love about Web 2.0: you just never know where the day or your interactions will take you. Ron was interviewing Brent Leary, a partner at CRM Essentials, about something completely different, and Brent mentioned that if your vendors aren’t supporting you the way they should be, you can just go to Twitter for help…help from the people, all of us regular Joes and Jolenes.

I just so happen to be reading a fantastic book by the likes of Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff called Groundswell: Winning in a World Tranformed by Social Technologies. It’s a bestseller, a must-read and a must-understand kind of book. And, it speaks to Brent’s comment above precisely.

The ‘groundswell’ is us – you and me, the people who are on social networking sites like Facebook, YouTube and MySpace; the people who use digg, and hugg; people talking on forums, in chatgroups, and on listserves; bloggers; blog readers; websurfers….people on Twitter who are ready to provide guidance.

We are beyond powerful. Through our online communication, our listening, our sharing, our reading, our participation, we have figured out ways to work around big companies. Not only do we not need them so much (are they here for us anyway?), but we can tell them about how to improve their product, services, company. Companies/people can be smacked down by the groundswell, ie. when they try to fight it by trying to get something taken off-line which creates an instant fervor to spread the item far and wide, or they can find incredible success by listening to the groundswell and participating themselves – ultimately by respecting the groundswell, ie. all of us.

I could talk about Groundswell all day long, but I won’t! Go read it…especially if:

  • You think this Web 2.0 stuff is going to kill you, meanwhile, you have no idea what it is or even if it’s a good idea.
  • You know this Web2.0 stuff is critical for your business, but you have no idea how to do it or you think you know exactly how to do it.
  • You are a writer, designer, marketer, etc…and want to serve your clients in the best way possible.

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