Social Web

Harnessing the Power of the Oh-So-Social Web
Josh Bernoff and Charlene Li
MIT Sloan Review

Thanks to a variety of online social applications — including blogs, social networking sites like MySpace, user-generated content sites like YouTube and countless communities across the Web — people are increasingly connecting with and drawing power from one other. In fact, customers are now beginning to define their own perspective on companies and brands, a view that’s often at odds with the image a business wants to project.

But organizations need not be on the defensive. Indeed, some savvy executives have already been turning this groundswell of customer power to their advantage. To investigate how, the authors interviewed managers and employees at more than 100 companies that were rolling out social applications. From this research, they developed a strategic framework that businesses can use to implement social applications in a number of departments, including research and development, marketing, sales, customer support and operations.

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