Groundswell Breakfast

May 22, 2008

The Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council (MTLC) sponsored an event this morning at which Forrester‘s Josh Bernoff talked about Groundswell, the book he and Charlene Li just published. I’ve been a big Josh fan since he and I worked together to launch the quantitative research business at Forrester in 1999 — built on the Technographics consumer segmentation model that he invented the year before.

As I rolled out my driveway, I started typing the address of the event into my GPS. To my great surprise, the system didn’t contain my destination address!  Funny how quickly we become dependent on truly useful technologies.  I was stymied for a moment, but I got there the old-fashioned way and Josh gave a terrific presentation (no surprise). Some of the points Josh emphasized for successful social sites:

  • Have clear business objectives — the technology is secondary.
  • Quote of the day (graciously attributed to somebody else, can’t remember who): “Trying to get stuff off the internet is like trying to get pee out of a pool.”
  • His pnemonic for developing a social strategy is POST — people (who is your audience?), objectives, strategy, and technology.
  • Consumers behave differently in different situations. Their “Social Technographics Ladder” includes creators, critics, collectors, joiners, spectators, inactives.
  • Take your users’ advice re: new features. 50% of the features on come from their customers.
  • Best of all — an upcoming report finds that advertising on social sites is counter-cyclical and should thrive in a recession.

Thanks, Josh!