Josh Bernoff, Empowered: Unleash Your Employees, Energize Your Customers, and Transform Your Business
Susan Bratton

Episode 177 - Josh Bernoff, Empowered: Unleash Your Employees, Energize Your Customers, and Transform Your Business

Live from ad:tech NY, Josh Bernoff, SVP of Idea Development reviews his latest book,

Empowered: Unleash Your Employees, Energize Your Customers, and Transform Your Business

We talk about identifying mass influencers, delivering customer services, empowering employees and customers with mobile apps and amplifying fan activities to socialize your enterprise.



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Susan Bratton: Welcome to DishyMix. I’m your host, Susan Bratton. I’m here at AdTech New York with Josh Bernoff. Josh is someone I’ve admired a very long time. He has been in the past an analyst at Forester Research out of Cambridge Massachusetts, and he’s recently changed his role at Forester in light of some success that we’ll talk about. He’s no senior vice president of Idea Development. Nice job if you can get it, and Josh can. And he’s also the co-author of Groundswell with Charlene Lee and his new book, Empowered, which he’s hear at AdTech talking about. So welcome Josh, it’s nice to have you.

Josh Bernoff: It’s great to be on.

Susan Bratton: Thank you. So I want to hear about Empowered. Lets just get right into your newest book and what it’s about and what you’re talking about here at the show.

Josh Bernoff: Well in two-plus years that I’ve been talking to people since Groundswell was published, what we found is that the real challenge is for people to implement social technologies in the context of a company. So that’s really what the new book is about. It’s about how to manage your company in the age of the empowered customer. 

Susan Bratton: So what are the applications that you see companies needing to implement within their organizations – social listening, social response – how do you break all of that down and what kind of advice do you give? 

Josh Bernoff: Well listening is terrific. We’re definitely in favor of that. But I guess the main thing I want people to take away is that in this world we live in now the customer themselves is an enormous conduit for influence and for marketing. We estimate based on our surveys that people make 500 billion impressions on one another about products and services every year within the social challenges. And just for context, total amount of online advertising in that same time period is about 2 trillion impressions, only four times as many. So this tells you that you need to think of your customers and what they say as being almost as important as any other marketing you do. 

Susan Bratton: Even if it’s only a quarter of the conversation that’s happening with that customer pushed versus brand pushed, it’s probably four times more important. I mean it definitely at this point, if you’re telling me these numbers, it eclipsing anything you can do in marketing. Like you should stop working on your ad campaigns and you should start working on your customer social conversation, right? 

Josh Bernoff: Well it’s true that what customers say to each other is far more persuasive than what companies say directly to the customer. And I’m certainly not advocating that people dump their traditional advertising. In fact, the messages in traditional advertising were often what resonates with these customers, but you need to understand that applications that reach out to customers that take advantage of what they’re saying, that head off problems, turn detractors into promoters and concentrate fan activity, this is really where the action is in social and it’s where the action ought to be in marketing. 

Susan Bratton: All right, go back and break that down a little for us. I really liked what you just said. I want to capture some of it. I’m going to scribble it down as we were talking about it. One of them was turn your detractors into your promoters. One of them was find places that your likers can congregate. How did you say it? You said it well.

Josh Bernoff: Well we actually have an acronym for this of course…

Susan Bratton: Oh good, go ahead. Lay it on me man.

Josh Bernoff: It’s IDEA…

Susan Bratton: Okay…

Josh Bernoff: Okay, the I is Identify mass influencers. As it turns out about 16% of the online population is responsible for 80% of that influence…

Susan Bratton: Okay.

Josh Bernoff: So you want to find out which are the millions of influencers in your category. D is Delivery Groundswell customer service. This is where you take people who have bought your products and make sure that they’re happy with them so they’re more likely to be saying positive stuff than turning into United breaks guitars on you, you know.

Susan Bratton: Yeah, recommendations, etcetera. Okay.

Josh Bernoff: The E is Empower with mobile information because we found that the most influential customers are far more likely to have mobile connections, and so serving them with mobile applications is really important. And finally, the A is Amplify fan activity. This is what I guess you’d call now the traditional word of mouth. This is activities that take people who are your fans and where you make it easier for them to talk about how much they like you and create places that will aggregate up all the positive things that they say so that can influence other people.

Susan Bratton: Very nice. I really appreciate that. It’s simple, straightforward strategy. Who’s doing it well? What are some of the examples that you give in the world to show people? 

Josh Bernoff: We’ve got lots of examples. In fact, it’s not an exaggeration to say that Empowered is a book of really interesting case studies. So some great examples, Ford, when they launched the new Fiesta car, that’s a car that’s aimed at young people and Ford doesn’t have that much credibility with young people overall. So Scott Monty, who’s in charge of social media there…

Susan Bratton: Yup.

Josh Bernoff: recruited 100 people to try out the car for six months, even before it was available. And these people were chosen specifically because of a level of social connections they had. The result of all of the YouTubing and posting on Flickr and Twittering and so on that they did was that 100,000 people went to see, which was about the new Fiesta and all this activity, and 4,000 people actually signed up to buy the car ahead of time. I guess I’ll point out one other example on the customer service side. A great example is Twelpforce. This is the Twitter…

Susan Bratton: How do you spell that? 

Josh Bernoff: It’s t-w-e-l-p-f-o-r-c-e. It is a Twitter handle, but it’s a Twitter handle that’s shared by 2,500 employees at Best Buy. And if you have a problem of any kind in electronics, with a Best Buy product or any product, you just send a message out to Twelpforce and one of those people will respond. These people are customer service people, but they’re also the blue shirts that are in the stores, the Geek Squad people, and they are everyday taking people who might be upset with Best Buy and turning them into promoters by the level of service that they deliver.

Susan Bratton: I never knew about that. It’s a brilliant idea that any company can steal and implement within a day, you know what I mean?

Josh Bernoff: You would think but, you know, it’s interesting that the hard part is not how to get people to share a Twitter account. The hard part is is your company set to actually enable people to reach out on Twitter in a coordinated way, and that’s what makes Best Buy different. They are organized in a way so that, as the CMO there, Barry Judge says, they embrace half-baked ideas. 

Susan Bratton: Well lets go right there to the idea that Empower is not just about empowering a company to connect with their customers, and it’s not about empowering them to use social platforms for customer support, vendor communication, whatever it might be, the social enterprise angle, but it’s really about empowering the people to participate in the support of this concept. So what are some of the maybe rules of thumb or best practices that you’ve found or cultural morays that need to be changed or instituted within organizations? How do you go into your company and say, “From now on we’re going to use social channels and we’re going to IDEA”, what do you do? Where do you start? It has to come from the top down I would imagine, right? 

Josh Bernoff: Completely wrong.

Susan Bratton: Oh, I like it when I’m completely wrong. Great.

Josh Bernoff: Now in fact our whole point is that it is your own customer facing employees, whether they’re marketing people, customer service people that are having these ideas about new ways to reach out to customers. And in fact, with the level of power the customers have now, you know, one Tweet can tell a million people, “Don’t buy a Maytag”…

Susan Bratton: Yeah.

Josh Bernoff: You need those employees to become coming up with the ideas. Now it’s great that Barry Judge and Best Buy embraces those ideas, but in order for that to happen there has to be sort of a culture that says that when somebody like Ben Hedrington, who’s the guy who came up with the technology that allows this Twitter sharing to happen, when he comes up with an idea that he gets supported. When a guy like John Bernere, who was given the job of training and dealing with labor laws and all of the stuff that’s actually the hard stuff you have to do to roll something like this out, that he’s empowered by Barry Judge to actually turn this half-baked idea into something that’s useful for the company. So if you’re talking about what managers need to do, they certainly, you know, it’s easy to say, “We’re in favor of innovation here at Company X”. What’s harder is that when someone actually comes up with an idea that, you know, has a regulatory issue, threatens someone’s political turf, that you say, “You know what, we’re going to still try this out.” To sort of get directly at one of the other points you were getting at here, the question of how your employees can engage in social channels, we’ve talked to a lot of companies who were doing that and there’s three basic rules and only three to get started here. Number one is your employees have to know they are required to identify themselves, that they cannot participate anonymously. Number two, they have to remember they’re an employee. So for example, an employee is not permitted to say, “Hey, let me tell you what our next quarter’s financial results are going to be.” They also can’t Tweet about it that way, so follow the employee rules. And third is if you make a mistake fix it, because all of these social environments have the ability to go back in and comment or edit or change, and so yeah people are going to make mistakes but they don’t become a big deal if you go back in and say, “You know what, it turned out I was wrong about this and here’s what the actual accurate truth is.”

Susan Bratton: I want to go back to and thank you for that. You know, it’s so simple, right. We really overthink stuff, don’t we? I want to go back to IDEA, the first one, Identify mass influencers. So first of all, do you have any particular tools, technologies or companies that you think are doing a really great job at influencer identification, and then the second part of that is – I want to give you both questions at once; first of all, you’re smart enough to handle that and second of all, they might work together – what do you do once you identify those influencers, what are the most powerful and effective things as an organization that you can do?

Josh Bernoff: Well those influencers are different by industry, by product and I want to be clear here, by mass influencers, we’re talking about potentially millions of people. So this is not just PR where you say, “Oh, you know, we’re going to reach out to bloggers. You know, DishyMix seems to be important, so we’re going to try and influence them”. Your, you know, PR people think of people like you the same way they think of journalists as someone who has to be treated specially. We’re talking about how do you actually embrace millions of customers who have a lot of influence. Now a great example of a company that has done this is in the U.K. there’s a mobile operator called Giffgaff, and Giffgaff, they started by creating a community that attracted the most sophisticated mobile users. So they had thousands of these people in there talking about issues in mobile. Then they launched a mobile operator that was specifically for these sophisticated influential mobile users. It’s unlike any mobile operator you’ve ever heard of. It has not phones. You have to bring your own phone. It has no stores. When you sign up they send you a SIM card in the mail and you put it into the phone that you’ve got somewhere else. By the way, if you’re not sophisticated enough to figure out how to put a SIM card in, you’re not the kind of customer they want…

Susan Bratton: They don’t want you.

Josh Bernoff: And it has no call center. If something goes wrong you post in that environment, you post in the community and 95% of the time within one hour you’re going to get an answer to that question. So their costs are way lower and as a result they can offer great deals, plus when they want to release new packages or new products they say to the community, “What other kind of stuff do you want?” Now they’ve gone from zero to thousands of customers in just a few months as a result of this focus on influential customers that can bring other people in, and it’s, you know, it’s just a brand new way to think about things to attract those influential folks.

Susan Bratton: So I didn’t understand what Giffgaff’s value proposition is. I know you didn’t tell me that, but I’m interested. They want the influential customers but why do the influential customers want them?

Josh Bernoff: Because they are a company that provides a service more cheaply and in more flexible ways, and they’re engaged with those customers even though they don’t have a call center. If you say, “You know, things should be different in mobile”, you’re actually likely to get a response. Plus as usual in these situations what the customers really like are each other. They’ve created an environment where these kind of people can get together and it’s like, “Well as long as I’m  hanging out here I’d like to be connected with this company.” 

Susan Bratton: Yeah. Okay. So what else do companies do with influencers in today’s market? It’s obviously evolved. We can identify people who have either they talk a lot about a particular brand or they have a lot of followers or a combination of those things, or they’re in the conversation that is around the brands, you know, bailiwick and yet not talking about the brand, but obviously care about that particular category. Those are some of the reasons that you would want to find an influencer, and then you would want to do something with them. What do you do?

Josh Bernoff: Well, as we pointed out in our first book, Groundswell, it depends on what your objective is. If your objective is to spread awareness, then you want to create opportunities for people to talk about your new product. A great example of this is Microsoft when they released Windows 7. Now this is a company that had just been reeling from Windows Vista launch that was a disaster. But they figured out that there are a lot of people saying some very positive things about Windows that they didn’t like being caricatured in these Apple commercials and they were getting stuff done. And in fact, when the beta of Windows 7 went out a lot of people were saying, “You know, there’s some really good stuff in here.” So they took advantage of that. They actually created a site called, which is an aggregation of all the positive things people are saying in Facebook, in Twitter, they even have YouTube in there, and that feed was actually featured on the homepage of when Windows 7 shipped. So instead of saying, “We think Windows is great” – it’s like, “Oh yeah, well of course you do, you’re Microsoft” – it’s like look at what these other people think. They think Windows 7 is great and the result was a very successful launch.

Susan Bratton: I want to go to a break and when we come back I want to talk more about different ways we can deliver customer services and ways we can do that in mobile, because I, like you, agree that a service company without a mobile app is not a company that I want to deal with anymore, you know. I mean there’s kind of this line in the sand in 2010 to my way of thinking that there’s a real ability to leapfrog and continue to grow your business, or to fall behind without things like mobile applications. So lets go to a break and when we come back you’re going to get to know more about this with Josh Bernoff. He is the senior vice president of idea development at Forester. His newest book is Empowered. We’ll be right back.

Susan Bratton: We’re back with Josh Bernoff of Forester Research. He’s the author of a new book called Empowered, and Josh when we were just finishing up before the break we were talking a little bit about empowering with mobility and delivering customer service in some new ways. What is your take on this? How can we deliver the highest quality customer service using social tools without spending an arm and a leg and needing a huge new force of people?

Josh Bernoff: The key is to take people who are most likely to talk positively about your company and deliver them the service that they expect, and that means the mobile application that gives them what they want the instant that they need it. We’ve been able to show that people who are more influential are twice as likely to have a Smart Phone and be using mobile web access as other consumers. So even if you think my population isn’t there, well if you want the influential in your market you have to do that. A great example is an application that they did for, a British arm of Auto Trader. You can actually take a picture of a license plate on a car. It will then go out and look up what kind of car that is, which goes through a public database of makes and models and license plate numbers that’s available in the U.K, and it says, “Okay, you’re looking at a Lexus RX”. And then you can say, “Does anyone have one of those for sale near me”, and it shows you all the people who’ve got their cars for sale near you, and you can even if you see one you like push a button and be talking to that person on the phone and say, “I’m interested in trying out your car and maybe buying it.” That was a top iPhone application in the U.K when it came out, and that’s an example of what’s possible with mobile because of the fact that it knows about location, it’s connected to the clout, you can use it when you’re out and about. I mean these are some of the amazing things that are possible and it’s the kind of thing that makes people want to work with a company.

Susan Bratton: Absolutely. And what about customer support? What is it that we need to do within our own organizations to make sure that we’re staying relevant with the social dynamic around customer support?

Josh Bernoff: Well the best organizations that I’ve seen are the ones that are listening and responding to customers who are looking for support in the social channels. And this is not just layering social on top of what your customer service people do; it’s a matter of recognizing that when someone is talking in these environments you’d better reach out to them because they could potentially be saying negative or positive things about your company. So we’ve seen companies like AT&T, like McDonald’s, like Best Buy that I mentioned, even companies whose service reputations are less than flawless like Comcast that are now in a position to take advantage of the ability to turn detractors into promoters, to take people who are having a problem and make them happy. You know, my iPhone just crapped out and I just Tweeted about it and somehow I don’t think Apple is going to come rushing to my aide because of this, but maybe they ought to because, you know, they really want me and all the other people with iPhone’s to be talking about how great they are.

Susan Bratton: So what do we need to do? We need to monitor Twitter feeds so that we can hear what people are saying in the Twittersphere? How do we monitor Facebook and how do we go beyond monitoring tools, which I hope you’ll tell me your favorites, to the next step? Give us the steps here.

Josh Bernoff: Well monitoring tools are pretty well understood now, and you have the simpler less expensive tools like Radiant Six. There’s one I keep hearing about over and over again, it’s the Visible Technologies True Voice product, and part of the point of monitoring is to see how the sentiment about your company is changing. But we’re talking about very specifically, “Oh jeez, you know, here’s someone who needs help.” When Michael Arrington was Tweeting about his Comcast service being down it made a huge difference to Comcast image that they heard him and responded to him because, you know, it’s Michael Arrington, he’s got a huge audience. And, you know, when you’re in a position to do this, if you’ve set up a team of people who’ve got access to whatever they need in your technical support or customer support operation, then yes, you’re overserving people with social technology, but that is appropriate given the level of influence that they’ve got.

Susan Bratton: So we’re using social listening and we’re responding to our customers. What else do we need to do beyond that?

Josh Bernoff: Well I think that the first half of Empowered is about how to turn your customer into a marketing channel. But the second half is the challenging part and that is how to run your operation so that ideas about new ways to help customers can be successful. We talk about what we call the hero compac. A hero is a highly empowered and resourceful operative, that’s a little bit of a stretch acronym, about the people who are building these applications, who are coming up with these ideas, but you need to have what we call a hero compac. This is an agreement among the heroes themselves that they’re going to operate in ways that will actually benefit the company and serve customers; management, who has to support these new ideas and also help the heroes to know when what they’re doing is too risky and needs to be shut down; and IT, which has sort of been shut out here, but when technology’s being used throughout the organization IT has to provide help, they have to support them, they have to look for places where they can take simple ideas and scale them up to enterprise sales, and they have to just stop saying no all the time to any new technology idea. I mean anyone is used to these days the idea that when you go to IT they’re the department of no, but half of Forester’s business comes from serving IT professionals, and Ted Shadler, my co-author, is out there now talking to people on IT saying, “If you don’t want to be irrelevant your new role is to help and support these people in marketing and sales and customer service that have these new technology ideas.

Susan Bratton: Yeah, I’m glad to hear that your partner is doing that because it does make it so painful for the marketing and sales people. I want to talk about amplifying fan activity; that’s the A in IDEA, Amplify fan activity. What are some of the best things you’ve seen for, you talked about the Windows social application as a way of aggregating and rolling up positive customer sentiment, and I think that’s nice but, you know, how many people are really going to come to a page like that? What other things have you seen that are really affective for finding your fans and not only gathering more of them together, encouraging them to communicate about your brand if you can, is there a way to do that artfully, and then how do you amplify what they’re saying and doing? 

Josh Bernoff: Well the first step is to listen and understand what people are talking about out there because then you can get an idea of what will resonate. After that you need to respond, the customer service people actually talk to people individually, then you want to try and find ways to make it easy for them to talk about your products. A good example, as simple as possible example is to put ratings and reviews on your website. That just makes an amazing difference. And then the last thing you need to do, other than finding these places they’re talking and aggregate that together where people can see it, is to actually change your company and your product offerings in a way that reflects what people are looking for. Let me give you an example from a small company. This is not all big companies. This is a company called They make houses available for rent if you’re going to go to Europe with your family and you want to rent a house. And I use their service, so they have very good customer service, and then when you come back you get an email that says, “Hey, why don’t you put a rating or review on our website.” And if you don’t then they message you again and say, “Oh come on, why don’t you tell us what you did.” Now that’s sort of the standard level of service. But what amazed was after I did that I got an email from somebody at the company saying, “We saw your review. It sounds like they need to replace the refrigerator in the place you stayed in Italy and the bathroom in the place in Venice needs to get modernized a little bit. By the way, why don’t you go here to this site on the open internet where they have ratings and reviews and talk about it there”, and I thought, “My god, they must send individual emails to hundreds of people.” I call them and in fact they do. They send hundreds of emails out every week, and it’s sort of a funny thing to do because, you know, I’m not rich, I’m not going to be going to Europe every year, so why are they spending so much effort on me? The reason is by getting me to talk about my experience on these sites on the open internet they know that they can amplify that, they can get thousands of other people to hear about it and they’ve recognized that customer service doesn’t mean just making sure I have a good experience; it means making sure that I talk about the experience that I did have.

Susan Bratton: Thank you for that, and I love these new sites. It was funny, we were just talking last night to my girlfriends after AdTech about Verbo, and then she gave me the name of another website, I couldn’t remember the name now, of these rental sites for villas and apartments and things, and it’s just an awesome thing. We’re all doing it now. We’re all using the internet to go live in Europe for a week or a month or a Summer and find great places to stay. Empowered, the book, you’re on tour, and you’re promoting it. What are you doing this time in your book promotion strategy that you didn’t do with Groundswell, that you think are new ideas for marketing and promoting a book? 

Josh Bernoff: You know, I’ll talk about some of these things. We did a lot of interesting things, but I’m going to talk about them because they’re things that are really easy and simple but successful. So I’m doing the traditional things; I’m giving speeches all over the place and blogging, you know, Twittering; I mean this is, everybody knows that you can do this. But just as an example, we said, “All right, Amazon reviews are really important.” I wanted to have hundreds of Amazon reviews available or dozens at least of Amazon reviews available in the databook ship. And I thought well who is most likely to say positive things? Well I have ten thousand Twitter followers. It’s not a huge amount, but if they’re my Twitter followers they’re probably going to say positive things. So we had a little program where I Tweeted out first 100 people to respond to this Tweet will get a free advanced copy of Empowered but you need to promise that you’ll put a review on Amazon. And sure enough about a couple of hundred people came to the forum but half of them bounced off because they saw there’s a little checkbox they have to agree to review it on Amazon. As a result of that, when the book was out there within the first week we had about 50 Amazon reviews, which is a lot more than most books at this level would get. The other fun thing we did – and this is in conjunction with my publisher – we made if available for free on Kindle for four days before the book was officially available. Now for the people listening to this, I’m sorry, you need to pay the regular price. You missed this. We were looking for early folks who would be interested in it, and our reasoning was the people with Kindles were the ones most likely to talk to other people and spread word of mouth. We got 14,000 people to download the book for free on Kindle, and on the third day of that four day review I actually got Seth Goden to write a blog post about the fact that we were giving the book away free on Kindle and anybody who’s worked with or tried to work with Seth knows that that’s really hard to get into his blog with something like that. So these are some of the sort of non-standard ways that we are promoting. I also have one other unfair advantage working for Forester Research. Forester has hundreds of sales people. We have lots of clients, and so the sales people are sending books out to some of our clients in an attempt to spread influence, and of course that’s one way to get word about the book out there.

Susan Bratton: A lot of people would think it’s crazy to give the whole book away on Kindle to 13 or 14,000 people. What was your thought – I can guess but I want to hear – your thought justification for doing that? 

Josh Bernoff: Well there are two reasons that we did the free Kindle giveaway. I mean, it’s true, we’ve lost some sales. The people would be most likely to buy the book ahead of time, would be also most likely to get this free Kindle giveaway. But I’d guess that out of 14,000 people we got there’s probably two or three thousand that would’ve bought the book and the rest are people who we would not have reached otherwise. Now a book is either going to go viral and become successful or not, and given the way that advances are it doesn’t much matter to me whether we sell ten thousand copies or twenty thousand copies. What matters is whether you sell a hundred thousand copies. So giving I the highest possible chance to explode based on the word of mouth of those folks, that’s really an important thing to do. I also thought it was a good way to get attention and a way to get some early feedback. You know, Kindle has this wonderful feature where when you’re reading the book you can see who has highlighted different pieces on the book…

Susan Bratton: Really? I didn’t know that…

Josh Bernoff: Yeah, it’s cool. So I was looking at the book on Kindle…

Susan Bratton: How do you find that out?

Josh Bernoff: You just enable that feature, then when you’re reading you see a little dotted line underneath the highlighted segments…

Susan Bratton: You enable it on your Kindle?

Josh Bernoff: Yes.

Susan Bratton: Oh no way.

Josh Bernoff: So I’m reading the book on Kindle and I can look if there’s something underlined and you click on it and it says, “56 people have highlighted this section.” Well now I know what parts of the book people really like, so that’s pretty cool…

Susan Bratton: And what you should blog about more, right?

Josh Bernoff: I guess so, yeah.

Susan Bratton: ‘Cause you can’t put it all in the book, so this is an opportunity for you to explode this information. That’s cool.

Josh Bernoff: Well we’ve started to see, I mean it’s an ongoing thing that the Giffgaff example that I gave you a little while ago…

Susan Bratton: Yeah.

Josh Bernoff: that came in because of the work we’ve already done. I already got hooked up with a company called Cotweet that, it’s part of Exact Target and they have a system that allows you to have multiple people in your company share a Twitter handle and work together and keep track of that, and they’re putting me in touch with their Twitter customers so I’m finding out new ways that people are using Twitter for customer service. These are examples of what happens once the ideas get out there. 

Susan Bratton: Yeah, absolutely. And it’s interesting, I like Cotweet and I’ve also been using Objective Marketer, because I have to manage multiple campaigns for multiple brands and multiple books, because I’m a book publisher, that’s what I do, right. I have an online book publisher. All my books are digitally downloaded, all virtual, all membership sites, all web access. Sure you can download it and print it out on your home printer, but it’s the same as having, you know, a Kindle only book. And I use Objective Marketer because it has click tracking by Tweet, so multiple can Tweet our, you know, my writers can Tweet, I can Tweet, it doesn’t really matter, and post on Facebook, etcetera, and I’m really enjoying watching the click track of what’s going on what Tweets get retweeted, what get clicked on, where my traffic comes from. So these tools are getting really sophisticated now, aren’t they?

Josh Bernoff: Yes, and we’re actually doing an experiment like that right here at the show…

Susan Bratton: Oh you are? What is it?

Josh Bernoff: Well at 2:00 today, I’m sure the people hearing this will have that time gone past already…

Susan Bratton: Long gone… Yes, of course.

Josh Bernoff: At the end of my talk we’re going to try and launch a little viral medium about a blog post that I put up, so I’m going to ask everybody in the audience to Tweet about that and I just want to see, we will actually analyze what stuff gets retweeted, who gets retweeted, how much, how soon does it happen, does it happen in the next day, week, will we get on the trending topics? This is a fun little experiment that you can do, but you know, we’ve got the tracking in place. We have a subscription, that professional version that allows you to use your own website, we’re using, so I actually see how many people have clicked on the link that we’re using here.

Susan Bratton: Well I’ll look forward to the information about that, and how would people find out about – obviously it’s easy to find out about Empowered – but how would people find your blog? 

Josh Bernoff: Well the easiest way to get to my blog is to go to And also that’s part of a micro site, this is another thing that’s really simple to do and useful for the book. Our micro site has a bunch of cool little things on it. One is the winners of the Forester Groundswell awards program. We just did a best social applications app that we got 130 entries, so the winners are really pretty outstanding. And it also has a little tool if you think you’re a hero. So what this means if you have an idea for a project within your company you go through, fill out a little form. It asks you some questions you should be asking yourself, like “Who am I going to have to get approval from? How much is this going to cost? How will I measure the benefits”, and then you can actually, this will generate an email, which we’re hoping people will send to their boss and say, “Look, this is my project, this is what the tools says, this is how hard they say it’s going to be or how easy it’s going to be, now lets talk about actually getting this thing off the ground.”

Susan Bratton: Nice! Well thank you so much Josh Bernoff, Forester Research, co-author of Groundswell and his newest book, Empowered. I really appreciate you spending the time today. I hope your iPhone works again. 

Josh Bernoff: That’d be great wouldn’t it? Yeah, it’s been really good to speak with you.

Susan Bratton: It’s been a pleasure to see you again. Thanks so much for coming on the show.

Josh Bernoff: Thanks. Bye-bye.

Susan Bratton: All right. I’m your host, Susan Bratton. Thanks for listening in to this episode of DishyMix. I’ll look forward to connecting with you next week. Take care.