Last Updated Mar 12, 2008 9:46 AM EDT
So what is the strategic call for corporate leaders? Can you afford to play in this arena? Can you afford not to?
Forrester researcher Josh Bernoff chimes in with the opinion that companies really don't have a choice but to play.
If you're in a company, your company can participate. In fact, you must participate. Your customers and prospects are connecting and talking about your products and your company right now -- this is what we call the groundswell. You need to be a part of the conversation. You might start a blog, you might start a Facebook group, you might start a community, or begin twittering, but until you start connecting as a corporate employee, you won't understand what's going on out there. And it can and will bite you.The key for companies entering this mysterious space, however, and for corporate employees, is to start with a set of business objectives, just as you would with any initiative. And be authentic. Speak about your products and services honestly. But be ready to have a conversation.
Bernoff and fellow Forrester princial analyst Charlene Li have just written a book, Groundswell, that discusses the impact of the social world on businesses and how businesses can influence, although not control, what is said about them in the digital universe. I've just started reading it, and it's quite powerful.