Two Good Books

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Wikis, YouTube, Blogs, Social Networking, Second Life……

Confused? Threatened? Wondering how this is all relevant to you and your business?

The Web 2.0 Culture is creating a permanent shift in the way the world works. There is a great opportunity being created but in order to take advantage of it you must first educate yourself.

If your want to better understand the transformation taking place and how every aspect of our personal and professional lives are being infiltrated by these second generation technologies I would like to recommend two books.

The first is, “We Are Smarter Than Me: How to Unleash The Power of Crowds in Your Business” by Barry Libert and Jon Spector and 4000 Contributors. Basically, the book is about mass collaboration or “crowdsourcing”. It is the concept that the collective “WE” is more powerful and smarter than any singular “ME”. In fact, “the crowd” wrote the book. Enabled by today’s technology we can act in mass collaboration and leverage the crowd’s collective intelligence. According to the authors, “The result is a quantum increase in the world’s ability to conceive, create, compute, and connect.”

This book is not only about how businesses can profit from the wisdom of crowds but it also describes what works and what doesn’t. Several case studies are sited in product development, manufacturing, marketing, customer service, finance and management that demonstrate the value of tapping into and leveraging the power of the “WE”.

The Second book is “Groundswell:Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies” by Forrester Research analysts Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff.

I think this is a must read for anyone wanting to gain a full understanding of the social transformation taking place and the processes necessary to profit from it.

The authors define groundswell as, “a spontaneous movement of people using online tools to connect, take charge of their own experience and get what they need – information, support, ideas, products, and bargaining power – from each other.”

The book uses twenty-five case studies from around the world to show how leading companies are using “groundswell” to gain insights, generate revenue, save money, and energize their customers.

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