Groundswell. Or ground-swell.

“A social trend in which people use technologies to get the things they need, rather from traditional institutions like corporations.”

-Groundswell, by Li & Bernoff (c2008)

The aforesaid definition may sound simple but it is a powerful force driven by the “people’s desire to connect, new interactive technologies, and online economics.” It is a phenomenon or an ‘unstoppable’ trend in information resourcing described by the authors Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff in their book of the same title (Harvard Business Press). It can make or unmake a product, corporate entity, a person or just anybody ruthlessly and in an instant. This a must-read for those who intend to win “in a world transformed by social technologies.”

In this day and age, the Internet is the dominant and most convenient source of just any information you may want. Relatedly, “irate customers are turning to the Internet to get back at companies for rendering poor service, writing blogs and spreading e-mails about their experiences,” says today’s BusinessWorld article, Firms now more aware of blogger backlash.

Backlashing? Yes, but I think the people have found a more influential and effective way or avenue to air their concerns against those who might have short changed them; those concerns that are not often addressed by the robotic customer service representatives. The most common targets of these so-called backlashing are airline companies and telecoms. I have personal encounters about these companies’ disservice from time to time and if you are not assertive enough, your concerns would just be left unattended until you would just give up.

Forums and other member-driven sites, blogs and other social networking sites have become the favorite avenues of customers who are disgruntled. Loosely, a smoke would just not appear unless there’s fire. These may appear to be threats to any concerned companies’ public image, economies of scale and ultimately the bottom lines but I would like to think that all of these should be treated as feedback for the improvement of their services, more transparency and an opportunity for an honest dialogue.


3 thoughts on “Groundswell

  1. I agree that there are so many different avenues available online to get a point across. But people still need to better educate themselves on the wonders and dangers of the internet. Posting too much information can be both beneficial and harmful.

    I also agree that forums and blogs have allowed consumers to voice their concerns when companies and institutions have ignored them. The downside to it (in some cases) is that the consumers’ point of view is still one-way and it may or may not depict the entire picture.

  2. Hi Karen. Nice comment and I also agree with your contention. I guess, then, it boils down to being cautious. Some ranting could backfire at us. Nice. Nice. 🙂

  3. I totally agree! People have found a new avenue to voice their concerns, really. And its great.

    Kaya lang problema, meron ibang forums na may “tiktik” ang mga companies like – ABS-CBN, GMA7, etc. Na tipong kala mo totoo yung mga sinasabi, yun pala eh planted ng mga walanghiya. Kairita.

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