Facebook: Too big to flail

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A decade ago, in the social media business book Groundswell, Charlene Li and I described online social technologies as an uncontrollable grass-roots movement. I had hoped social media would be a force for good. But now Facebook, along with its subsidiary Instagram, dominates that movement. It controls more of our collective attention – and gathers … Continued

Charlene Li: Reflecting on 10 Years of Groundswell — and What Comes Next

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Charlene Li has added her own perspectives on the tenth anniversary of the publication of Groundswell. Read her post on LinkedIn or below: 10 years ago, my co-author Josh Bernoff and I released our first book, “Groundswell: Living in a World Transformed by Social Technologies”. On this anniversary, I wanted to reflect on what our expectations were when … Continued

My grateful thanks for every setback, frustration, screwup, and failure

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As I look back on a long and fairly successful career, it’s become clear to me that the disasters, screwups, flops, and efforts that fell decisively short of the goal are the ones that I learned the most from. I started smart, but the flops were where I learned what mattered. On Thanksgiving, I’d like … Continued

My inspirations and aspirations

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The people who inspire me share one quality: a commitment to expressing the truth clearly and without fear — and with a smile. Perhaps that explains my current quest. Here are a few in whose footsteps I hope to follow. Isaac Asimov. Asimov’s plain, direct, clever, and idea-filled prose captivated me in adolescence — and I mean his nonfiction, … Continued

Write the marketing pitch first, before you build the product

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Trying to figure out what you’re building? Figure out first how you’re going to sell it. Write that. Then you’ll know what to build. When Charlene Li and I sat down to plan our book, we needed to start somewhere. She had a lot of great ideas about social media, but we didn’t know which of those … Continued