10 Years After: Groundswell, the book that defined the foundations of the social business

Carlos Victor in Madrid with Charlene Li

In July 2012, I had the pleasure of meeting Charlene Li in Madrid, the founder of the Altimeter consultancy and author of indispensable books to understand Web 2.0 such as Groundswell and Open Leadership. Then I asked her about the importance of online reputation and her response was

«Online reputation is something that one has to develop, in terms of having a strategy for it, for the brand. It is possibly the most important asset that one has to manage in his life, more important than any other investment. But, then you realise the time that people spend to manage financial portfolios, actions – a brutal amount of time. And how much time is spent on reputation? Almost nothing. You have to be very proactive to strategically consider what kind of reputation you want, and now with social media you can create that efficiently. «

Groundswell celebrates 10 years of its first edition and was a fundamental book for the understanding of a nascent phenomenon, the social business. Ten years later, Charlene published an article about what has changed and what has not changed during this period. Her main points in this brief evaluation:

  • Online social life is practically ubiquitous: we play online with friends, we can disclose our ideas to thousands of people, the digital space ceased to be an individual experience to be a shared experience.
  • The use of social media for social movements like the Arab Spring also led to radicalization and echo chambers that distribute hate messages and leave us all more vulnerable
  • As we discussed here, the notion of privacy has relaxed, but we started to be a little more attentive to what is done with our data
  • Focusing on people is still the first step of a digital strategy, although many companies prefer to start with the technological solution
  • Structure follows strategy, and the use of social business is indicative of a company more focused on the consumer

Charlene Li’s full article can be seen on LinkedIn.

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