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33 Million People in the Room: How to Create, Influence, and Run a Successful Business with Social Networking (Networking Technology: Security Series)

Overview

Social networks are no fad. They’re a permanent reality: one that offers immense opportunities to smart, innovative businesses. Now, top social networking consultant Juliette Powell reveals how dozens of innovators are driving real ROI through social networks—and how you can, too.

Powell’s wide-ranging research, including coverage on Barack Obama's successful online strategy in his bid for the presidency, focuses on technology, media and gaming companies, leaders in fashion, ...

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33 Million People in the Room: How to Create, Influence, and Run a Successful Business with Social Networking (Networking Technology: Security Series)

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Overview

Social networks are no fad. They’re a permanent reality: one that offers immense opportunities to smart, innovative businesses. Now, top social networking consultant Juliette Powell reveals how dozens of innovators are driving real ROI through social networks—and how you can, too.

Powell’s wide-ranging research, including coverage on Barack Obama's successful online strategy in his bid for the presidency, focuses on technology, media and gaming companies, leaders in fashion, beauty, publishing, finance, retail, event planning, and beyond. These powerful narratives illuminate the reality of doing business on today’s social networks as never before. Through them, Powell introduces new best practices, shows how to avoid crucial pitfalls, and helps you prepare for the newest trends in online social networking.

Drawing on the latest research, Powell connects the dots, uncovering the human dynamics and patterns that consistently underlie successful social networking initiatives. Along the way, she offers practical tools and advice for optimizing every stage of your own social networking initiative—from planning through measurement, and beyond.

  • Getting on, getting started, and making social networks work for you
    Defining and implementing your optimal social networking strategy
  • Leveraging the amazing power of the microcelebrity
    Achieving worldwide impact in the niche that matters to you
  • Transforming social and cultural capital into financial capital
    Be generous, build your trusted personal network—and discover all you get in return
  • Profiting from the knowledge you never knew you had
    Opening your organization’s own social networking channels— inside and out
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Juliette Powell is a social media expert and Founder of The Gathering Think Tank, Inc. (http://www.thegatheringwebsite.com), an innovation forum that connects technology, media, entertainment, and business communities.

Her decade long career began as a teenager, working in live broadcast television and naturally expanded into interactive/new media content and formats, bolstered by a lifelong interest in people and community-building.

With her deep knowledge of the people and technologies at the forefront of social media, Powell, a serial entrepreneur, has gained a solid reputation for discovering the latest developments and distilling their social and business implications. Her consulting services have been employed by corporate, government, and new media organizations, including Red Bull, Mozilla, Microsoft, Compaq, Trump International, Nokia, the United Nations, the Department of Justice, Paltalk, and Rocketboom.

She has served as a guest speaker at MIT’s Innovation Forum, NYU’s Interactive Technology Program, and the Producer’s Guild of America’s New Media Council. She has also assisted in the production of the world-renowned Technology, Entertainment, and Design (TED) Conference. Powell began her career as a television host, producer, and founder of Powell International Entertainment, Inc. (PIE, Inc.), an integrated media production and development company that produced special reports with newsmakers such as Nelson Mandela, Prince Charles, Sir Richard Branson, Steven Spielberg, and Tom Cruise. She also worked on projects with The Biography Channel, Women’s Entertainment Television, E! Entertainment Television, Cirque du Soleil, and Bravo. Most recently, Powell created Canada’s first cross-platform interactive show designed for TV, Internet, radio, and mobile applications.

Juliette is a dual citizen who lives in Manhattan, NY and maintains a residence in Montreal, Canada.

For more information about the author, visit juliettepowell.com

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Read an Excerpt

Praise for 33 Million People in the RoomPraise for 33 Million People in the Room

“Juliette Powell has provided a timely crash course on how to leverage your business’s online presence. A must-read for any aspiring entrepreneur, activist, brand manager, or c-level executive.”

—Jeffrey Stewart, Serial Technology Entrepreneur; Founder,
Mimeo, Urgent Career, and Monitor110

“Reading Juliette Powell’s book is like perusing the secret trade documents of the most connected social butterfly. Upon first meeting Juliette, she immediately grabbed me by the arm and introduced me to the most important person in the room. When you pick up her book, it’s the same experience. She reaches through the pages and gives the reader entry to the halls of power through online networking.”

Amy Shuster, Editorial Producer, MSNBC

“Juliette knows her way around a social network; she regales us with tales and practical advice from the plastic porous mediascape of today.”

David Thorpe, Global Director of Innovation, Ogilvy & Mather

“If you are in business or starting one, and wonder what the heck all this talk about social networking is about, this book is the best quick guide I’ve seen. It’s full of juicy stories, backed up by sound social science, lucidly explained.”

Howard Rheingold, Author, Smartmobs; Professor, Stanford and Berkeley

“The exciting new world of online social networking is demonstrating the profound power of these truths to change the very fabric of society as we know it. Our interactions, relationships, and values arechanging faster than most of us can comprehend. For some, the pace of this change is alarming. For others it is empowering. In 33 Million People in the Room Juliette Powell takes us on a fun-filled tour of this rapidly changing hypo-manic digital ecosystem simultaneously providing both practical advice and an insightful commentary on the increasing importance of authenticity in modern culture. Along the way we meet a hilarious cast of characters and gain a behind-the-scenes glimpse into real social networking success stories showing how to leverage the power of this modern phenomenon to achieve meaningful social and economic results for you and your business.”

Michael Spencer, CTO, ASMALLWORLD

“Juliette Powell has captured the strength, excitement, and opportunity of social networks in this compelling work. Opening with an arresting saga about Chris Anderson’s debut as the new TED owner, she deftly sketches vignette after vignette that will have you thinking—why not me? Social networking power is awesome for those who have experienced it—but most people remain skeptical, guarded, and untrusting. Give up control? All control? Well, as she explains—YES! I’ve tried it, using six hundred fifty ‘coauthors’ to write a book—a book no one could have written, but to which ‘everyone’ could contribute. It was hard, very hard at first, to relinquish control, just as Powell describes. But the benefits she outlines are real. Try it—you’ll see!”

Chuck House, Executive Director, Media X, Stanford University

“Digital society is all about expanding and energizing connections between people and ideas in ways we are just starting to understand. 33 Million People in the Room shares the perspective of an insider and shows us how business, entertainment, and politics all connect in the brave new world of social networking.” —Kenny Miller, Creative Director and EVP, MTV Network Global Digital Media

“If you thought social networks were just for kids, or geeks, or simply too frivolous for your time, then think again. Juliette Powell reveals the power of connections, the strategies to gain audience and the best practices to build community in this brisk-paced canter through the new tools and techniques for doing business. It’s jargon-free and an easy read for those who have never dipped a toe in the water, but even experienced networkers will find wisdom in its pages. Real-world examples make a compelling case for her notion that social capital makes sound business sense and when successfully established can translate into capital in the bank.”

Paul Brannan, Deputy Editor, News Interactive, BBC

“Juliette Powell has written a book that will advance your understanding of social networking whether you’re a nerd, Luddite, a savvy teen blogger, or, most importantly, a business person trying to gain an edge by embracing the latest Internet phenomenon.”

Joel Dreyfuss, Editor in Chief, Red Herring magazine

“Juliette Powell’s book 33 Million People in the Room is the perfect book for the class. Powell understands that social networking is the best way to find like-minded people online, either to pursue an interest, reach a particular goal, create or grow a business, or just to help establish a sense of community among people online and beyond. Bravo Prof. Powell for a job well done!”

Bill Sobel, Sobel Media, NY:MIEG, http://www.nymieg.org

“Juliette Powell has brilliantly answered in rich dimensions why you should be deeply involved in this new communications fabric. Through vignettes with the true leaders of this revolution, Juliette has set forth all the energy and steam you need for your boilers to get going and enter the room.”

Chris Brogan, Business Advisor, chrisbrogan.com

“Juliette Powell has delivered a wonderfully succinct snapshot for embracing social computing as a way of doing business, not just the latest technology trend. Whether you are new to making connections online or are a social computing technology veteran, Juliette encapsulates the themes, concepts, and ideas that are most relevant for anyone in business interested in working in or exploring social computing.”

Jeffrey Dachis, Cofounder, Razorfish, Inc.; Cofounder, Senior Partner Bond Art & Science;
Chairman, Producers Guild of America New Media Council

“Social networking is just not for breakfast anymore. 33 Million People in the Room demonstrates how it transcends marketing and promotion, connecting people and companies in ways none of us dared dream. Thanks to Juliettte for putting this in perspective, and to social networks for so many of my restless nights.”

David Blumenstein, Cofounder, The Hatchery

“Juliette Powell puts a human face on the social changes being wrought online, whether describing new tools like MySpace and Facebook, or key concepts like viral communication and social capital.”

Clay Shirky, Adjunct Professor, NYU’s Graduate Interactive
Telecommunications Program (ITP); Author, Here Comes Everybody

“We all recognize that social networking and the technologies of connection and collaboration are an enormous phenomenon. But what do they mean? How can they, how will they be used to create social and economic value? Drawing on her own experience and on the insights of The Gathering Think Tank, Juliette Powell has developed a powerful set of answers to those critical questions. Full of clear explanations, helpful examples, and accessible advice, 33 Million People in the Room is an important tool for managers and citizens alike—a sourcebook for the next economy.”

Lawrence Wilkinson, Cofounder and Vice Chair, Oxygen Media; Cofounder and President,
Global Business Network; Cofounder and Chair, Heminge & Condell

“Juliette has done a terrific job of capturing the power of and the opportunities presented by social networks. Whether you are looking to maximize the impact of ‘You Inc’ or a global company, there are important lessons in this book. Things have changed, again, and this book will help you capitalize on it.”

Doug Zingale, General Manager of Strategic Partnerships, Zune, Microsoft Corporation

“A nice introduction to an emerging global force that’s still unfamiliar territory to many business people. It’s a place where ideas can spread like wildfire and where great fortunes and even romances will be made and broken—yet no one is in charge. Depending on your perspective, what is described within this quick yet informative read, is somewhere between a utopian future where everyone is connected as one—and the end of civilization as we know it.”

Bran Ferren, Chief Creative Officer, Applied Minds, Former President,
Disney Imagineering, Creative Technology, and Disney R&D

“The network value of reading this book will be to increase your net value multifold, while thoroughly entertaining you with inside stories about the first social networking application, the uber-hip TED conference, and how an outspoken wine expert from New Jersey became an online micro-celebrity. 33 Million People in the Room is a thoughtful, analytical and practical how-to for anyone looking to learn about social networking, from a budding blogger to a Fortune 500 CEO. I recommend reading this book or watching your back as others do.”

Dina Kaplan, Cofounder and COO, blip.tv

“I came into what was not yet called Cyberspace in 1985 searching for a new context for community...a new ‘place’ that might provide for the kind of essential human interdependencies that were the substrate of little agricultural towns like mine in Wyoming, now withering along with the family farm. Since then, despite the explosive settlement of the Electronic Frontier, this dream has felt to me increasingly like something forever in the future. But perhaps not. Juliette Powell provides evidence that the spark of collective life is starting to sustain itself in this vast and mysterious ‘room’ where all of us may gather. Her book is a dose of practical hope at a time when we need it.”

John Perry Barlow, Grateful Dead lyricist and cyberactivist

“Juliette Powell isn’t just an expert in community, she lives it. Her ideas are a must for any person or company building a social network.”

Ori Brafman, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal bestselling Author,
Sway and The Starfish and The SpiderForeword by Napier Collyns

Things are happening so fast. When I was a boy, only a handful of privileged people had phones and cars. The hand-delivered telegram was the quickest way to reach someone. Handwritten letters were treasured and often kept in perpetuity. Business was transacted in the same way. Fifty years ago, we used telexes to communicate between London and New York; the trans-Atlantic phone was too expensive. A few years later, we began to use faxes. And then in the early eighties, as electronic communication via personal computers emerged in academia, we adapted it in Shell for business purposes. At the same time, Stewart Brand started the Whole Earth ‘lectronic Link (WELL) to enable an emerging intellectual and cultural elite in the San Francisco Bay Area to communicate with each other, exchanging ideas, news, jokes, and personal aspirations. Stewart went on to help us found Global Business Network (GBN) in 1987 to enable business leaders to share their knowledge and ideas with the “remarkable people” we had chosen to form a visionary team of advisers across many disciplines. Before the Internet as we now know it got started, we were already communicating continuously through our private corner of the WELL. Increasingly businesses and governments began to use the new channels of communication for collaborative thinking, decision-making, and speed of action.

One day about four years ago, I received an e-mail from Juliette Powell asking to meet me. She had recently formed The Gathering Think Tank with a group of young entrepreneurial leaders in technology, media, policy, art, science, innovation, and business. I told her about our aspirations in forming GBN—to bring together leaders of major corporations with prominent and exceptional thinkers, artists, and innovators who could share their knowledge and instincts about where the world was going and ways to respond. The idea was to create scenarios of the future that would help business leaders imagine different possibilities and share an intuitive sense of where things might be headed. Juliette and I were “e-introduced” through a mutual acquaintance who insisted that The Gathering Think Tank was the twenty-first century version of GBN and its “remarkable people.” He went on to say that of all the founders of GBN she should meet me, because she was ostensibly “the next generation Napier Collyns”!

With Juliette’s knowledge in media, new media, and technology and my experience of getting leaders to sit down and engage with the ideas of other people, we began to explore new ways of collaborating and doing business. So many new methods of exchanging information, ideas, and beliefs—both publicly and privately—had been developed through the proliferation of electronic communications that it was now possible to instantly share ideas with literally millions of people or just the few or the one you select. Juliette seemed to have all this in her head both from personal experience and from a kind of instinctual grasp!

That’s why I wanted Juliette to write this book: To help people, old and young, to participate in this new business and learning opportunity. She started teaching my colleagues and me to take advantage of the new social networking tools, which have helped us in our business as well in our personal lives. Now her book delivers those critical lessons to a much broader audience. Every single reader will learn something new, and each of us—from corporate executives to college graduates just starting their careers—will apply that knowledge in different ways. I am sure Juliette would be happy to coach any company that wants to dive deeper into this new world with greater confidence and craft and implement a tailor-made, winning social media strategy. As you read this book, you will see how these amazing new ways of social networking can lead you to more innovative and effective ways of doing business and staying connected.

Napier Collyns spent thirty years as an international energy executive. In 1987, he cofounded Global Business Network, now a member of Monitor Group, with Peter Schwartz, Stewart Brand, Jay Ogilvy, and Lawrence Wilkinson.Foreword by jimmy wales and andrea weckerle

Wikipedia—a strange word no one had ever heard before it was coined in 2001. Today, less than eight years later, it is estimated that nearly one billion people have used the website. For many of them, Wikipedia has become a household word. Building a global brand like that, instantly recognizable by hundreds of millions of people, traditionally took decades and tens or hundreds of millions of dollars in marketing.

However, in creating and building Wikipedia into a household brand, the Wikimedia Foundation, the charity Jimmy founded to operate the project, spent nothing on marketing. Not one cent. Wikipedia essentially grew by word of mouth, as the excitement felt within the Wikipedia community spread one person at a time to bloggers and web masters, who in turn spread it to their readers, and their friends, and their mothers, and so on and on and on.

Using examples like this one and others featured in 33 Million People in the Room, Juliette Powell explains how businesses, large and small, are using modern online tools to cut through the clutter and reach their audience in new ways. Powell outlines how the use of social networks will help readers expand their business, reduce risks, and reduce costs—whether they are entrepreneurs at a small business just starting out, the marketing manager for a stable business that is decades old, or the CEO of a Fortune 500 company doing something as high tech as creating semiconductors, or as low tech as operating a corner wine shop.

In addition to discussing some of today’s most useful social networking tools and explaining how they are relevant to different situations, she drives home the point that every individual has the ability to increase their social capital—the network of relationships and the resources available and accessible therein—and their cultural capital—the influence and corresponding advantages resulting from that person’s knowledge, experience, and connections—which in turn have a positive effect on an individual’s ability to increase his or her financial capital.

Amidst the tech and consumer examples she uses to illustrate her points, Powell also throws in bits of fascinating information such as the UCLA and Boradex study that discusses the correlation between a company’s highly networked employees and the ability of that company to make better policy decisions and investments and therefore improve its bottom line.

Notably, some of the book’s most historically interesting sections involve recent United States politics. One recent example is Barack Obama’s 2008 win of the U.S. Presidency, where Powell dissects Obama’s internet campaign:


“The runaway success of Obama’s internet campaign rests primarily on three key factors, first among them a significantly larger financial investment in the online arena than those of his opponents. Obama’s campaign spent 10 to 20 times more on banner ads and sponsored links than his fellow candidates, running ads across a wide array of sites ranging from large newspapers like the Boston Globe to political blogs like Daily Kos and the Drudge Report. The second key factor in the campaign’s success was its lack of direct, in-your-face sales approaches. Clicking on an Obama banner ad led users not to a donation page, but rather to a form where they could sign up for campaign event invitations. Only after submitting the form were visitors asked to make a donation. By avoiding outright sales tactics, Obama confirmed his sincerity and sent supporters a clear, though unspoken, message: allegiance is more important than money. The third factor of Obama’s campaign, and the one that would take his message from a core group of ardently devoted followers and straight into the general public, lay in his deep understanding of the online world.”

The other is Al Gore’s still controversial loss of the bid for Presidency in 2000:

“In the United States presidential election of 2000, Al Gore won the popular vote but ultimately, thanks to a decision handed down by the Supreme Court, lost to Republican candidate George W. Bush. The defeat was humiliating, but through it, Gore would learn an invaluable lesson; one that would ultimately help him to change the course of history. With the defeat of Gore the politician, Gore the man could stop thinking about how he was supposed to act and start just being himself.... Perhaps the real key to Gore’s success in creating such widespread awareness of global warming was in a combination of his ability to passionately and convincingly communicate what he knew on the one hand, and on the other, in his shrewd ability to disseminate his message through his vast personal social network as well as to the multitudes of people who knew about him.”

33 Million People in the Room is a slender book, but don’t underestimate its importance just because it is less than 200 pages. Lots of business-type books are dry as a bone, but this one is engaging and fun to read. It can help you learn to do what Jimmy did with Wikipedia—for yourself, or for your business or charity. If you don’t understand the social nature of the web and make use of it to be successful, your competitors most certainly will.

Jimmy Wales, Founder of Wikipedia and Andrea Weckerle, Communications
Consultant & Entrepreneur New York City, Autumn 2008

© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 The Power of Social Networks 2

Chapter 2 Getting On and Getting Started 16

Chapter 3 Making Social Networks Work for You 30

Chapter 4 The Strength of the Microcelebrity 42

Chapter 5 The Need for Authenticity 52

Chapter 6 The Feedback Loop 62

Chapter 7 Social Capital →Cultural Capital→Financial Capital 74

Chapter 8 Virality and Communities: Opportunities in Distribution 86

Chapter 9 Crowdsourcing and Cocreating: Opportunities in Production 100

Chapter 10 Opening the Channels, Inside and Out: Opportunities in Communication 112

Chapter 11 Success Is Where You Find It 122

Glossary 132

Index 142

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Preface

Praise for 33 Million People in the Room

“Juliette Powell has provided a timely crash course on how to leverage your business’s online presence. A must-read for any aspiring entrepreneur, activist, brand manager, or c-level executive.”

—Jeffrey Stewart, Serial Technology Entrepreneur; Founder,
Mimeo, Urgent Career, and Monitor110

“Reading Juliette Powell’s book is like perusing the secret trade documents of the most connected social butterfly. Upon first meeting Juliette, she immediately grabbed me by the arm and introduced me to the most important person in the room. When you pick up her book, it’s the same experience. She reaches through the pages and gives the reader entry to the halls of power through online networking.”

Amy Shuster, Editorial Producer, MSNBC

“Juliette knows her way around a social network; she regales us with tales and practical advice from the plastic porous mediascape of today.”

David Thorpe, Global Director of Innovation, Ogilvy & Mather

“If you are in business or starting one, and wonder what the heck all this talk about social networking is about, this book is the best quick guide I’ve seen. It’s full of juicy stories, backed up by sound social science, lucidly explained.”

Howard Rheingold, Author, Smartmobs; Professor, Stanford and Berkeley

“The exciting new world of online social networking is demonstrating the profound power of these truths to change the very fabric of society as we know it. Our interactions, relationships, and values are changing faster than most of us can comprehend. For some, the pace of this change is alarming. For others it is empowering. In 33 Million People in the Room Juliette Powell takes us on a fun-filled tour of this rapidly changing hypo-manic digital ecosystem simultaneously providing both practical advice and an insightful commentary on the increasing importance of authenticity in modern culture. Along the way we meet a hilarious cast of characters and gain a behind-the-scenes glimpse into real social networking success stories showing how to leverage the power of this modern phenomenon to achieve meaningful social and economic results for you and your business.”

Michael Spencer, CTO, ASMALLWORLD

“Juliette Powell has captured the strength, excitement, and opportunity of social networks in this compelling work. Opening with an arresting saga about Chris Anderson’s debut as the new TED owner, she deftly sketches vignette after vignette that will have you thinking—why not me? Social networking power is awesome for those who have experienced it—but most people remain skeptical, guarded, and untrusting. Give up control? All control? Well, as she explains—YES! I’ve tried it, using six hundred fifty ‘coauthors’ to write a book—a book no one could have written, but to which ‘everyone’ could contribute. It was hard, very hard at first, to relinquish control, just as Powell describes. But the benefits she outlines are real. Try it—you’ll see!”

Chuck House, Executive Director, Media X, Stanford University

“Digital society is all about expanding and energizing connections between people and ideas in ways we are just starting to understand. 33 Million People in the Room shares the perspective of an insider and shows us how business, entertainment, and politics all connect in the brave new world of social networking.” —Kenny Miller, Creative Director and EVP, MTV Network Global Digital Media

“If you thought social networks were just for kids, or geeks, or simply too frivolous for your time, then think again. Juliette Powell reveals the power of connections, the strategies to gain audience and the best practices to build community in this brisk-paced canter through the new tools and techniques for doing business. It’s jargon-free and an easy read for those who have never dipped a toe in the water, but even experienced networkers will find wisdom in its pages. Real-world examples make a compelling case for her notion that social capital makes sound business sense and when successfully established can translate into capital in the bank.”

Paul Brannan, Deputy Editor, News Interactive, BBC

“Juliette Powell has written a book that will advance your understanding of social networking whether you’re a nerd, Luddite, a savvy teen blogger, or, most importantly, a business person trying to gain an edge by embracing the latest Internet phenomenon.”

Joel Dreyfuss, Editor in Chief, Red Herring magazine

“Juliette Powell’s book 33 Million People in the Room is the perfect book for the class. Powell understands that social networking is the best way to find like-minded people online, either to pursue an interest, reach a particular goal, create or grow a business, or just to help establish a sense of community among people online and beyond. Bravo Prof. Powell for a job well done!”

Bill Sobel, Sobel Media, NY:MIEG, http://www.nymieg.org

“Juliette Powell has brilliantly answered in rich dimensions why you should be deeply involved in this new communications fabric. Through vignettes with the true leaders of this revolution, Juliette has set forth all the energy and steam you need for your boilers to get going and enter the room.”

Chris Brogan, Business Advisor, chrisbrogan.com

“Juliette Powell has delivered a wonderfully succinct snapshot for embracing social computing as a way of doing business, not just the latest technology trend. Whether you are new to making connections online or are a social computing technology veteran, Juliette encapsulates the themes, concepts, and ideas that are most relevant for anyone in business interested in working in or exploring social computing.”

Jeffrey Dachis, Cofounder, Razorfish, Inc.; Cofounder, Senior Partner Bond Art & Science;
Chairman, Producers Guild of America New Media Council

“Social networking is just not for breakfast anymore. 33 Million People in the Room demonstrates how it transcends marketing and promotion, connecting people and companies in ways none of us dared dream. Thanks to Juliettte for putting this in perspective, and to social networks for so many of my restless nights.”

David Blumenstein, Cofounder, The Hatchery

“Juliette Powell puts a human face on the social changes being wrought online, whether describing new tools like MySpace and Facebook, or key concepts like viral communication and social capital.”

Clay Shirky, Adjunct Professor, NYU’s Graduate Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP); Author, Here Comes Everybody

“We all recognize that social networking and the technologies of connection and collaboration are an enormous phenomenon. But what do they mean? How can they, how will they be used to create social and economic value? Drawing on her own experience and on the insights of The Gathering Think Tank, Juliette Powell has developed a powerful set of answers to those critical questions. Full of clear explanations, helpful examples, and accessible advice, 33 Million People in the Room is an important tool for managers and citizens alike—a sourcebook for the next economy.”

Lawrence Wilkinson, Cofounder and Vice Chair, Oxygen Media; Cofounder and President,
Global Business Network; Cofounder and Chair, Heminge & Condell

“Juliette has done a terrific job of capturing the power of and the opportunities presented by social networks. Whether you are looking to maximize the impact of ‘You Inc’ or a global company, there are important lessons in this book. Things have changed, again, and this book will help you capitalize on it.”

Doug Zingale, General Manager of Strategic Partnerships, Zune, Microsoft Corporation

“A nice introduction to an emerging global force that’s still unfamiliar territory to many business people. It’s a place where ideas can spread like wildfire and where great fortunes and even romances will be made and broken—yet no one is in charge. Depending on your perspective, what is described within this quick yet informative read, is somewhere between a utopian future where everyone is connected as one—and the end of civilization as we know it.”

Bran Ferren, Chief Creative Officer, Applied Minds, Former President,
Disney Imagineering, Creative Technology, and Disney R&D

“The network value of reading this book will be to increase your net value multifold, while thoroughly entertaining you with inside stories about the first social networking application, the uber-hip TED conference, and how an outspoken wine expert from New Jersey became an online micro-celebrity. 33 Million People in the Room is a thoughtful, analytical and practical how-to for anyone looking to learn about social networking, from a budding blogger to a Fortune 500 CEO. I recommend reading this book or watching your back as others do.”

Dina Kaplan, Cofounder and COO, blip.tv

“I came into what was not yet called Cyberspace in 1985 searching for a new context for community...a new ‘place’ that might provide for the kind of essential human interdependencies that were the substrate of little agricultural towns like mine in Wyoming, now withering along with the family farm. Since then, despite the explosive settlement of the Electronic Frontier, this dream has felt to me increasingly like something forever in the future. But perhaps not. Juliette Powell provides evidence that the spark of collective life is starting to sustain itself in this vast and mysterious ‘room’ where all of us may gather. Her book is a dose of practical hope at a time when we need it.”

John Perry Barlow, Grateful Dead lyricist and cyberactivist

“Juliette Powell isn’t just an expert in community, she lives it. Her ideas are a must for any person or company building a social network.”

Ori Brafman, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal bestselling Author,
Sway and The Starfish and The Spider

Foreword by Napier Collyns

Things are happening so fast. When I was a boy, only a handful of privileged people had phones and cars. The hand-delivered telegram was the quickest way to reach someone. Handwritten letters were treasured and often kept in perpetuity. Business was transacted in the same way. Fifty years ago, we used telexes to communicate between London and New York; the trans-Atlantic phone was too expensive. A few years later, we began to use faxes. And then in the early eighties, as electronic communication via personal computers emerged in academia, we adapted it in Shell for business purposes. At the same time, Stewart Brand started the Whole Earth ‘lectronic Link (WELL) to enable an emerging intellectual and cultural elite in the San Francisco Bay Area to communicate with each other, exchanging ideas, news, jokes, and personal aspirations. Stewart went on to help us found Global Business Network (GBN) in 1987 to enable business leaders to share their knowledge and ideas with the “remarkable people” we had chosen to form a visionary team of advisers across many disciplines. Before the Internet as we now know it got started, we were already communicating continuously through our private corner of the WELL. Increasingly businesses and governments began to use the new channels of communication for collaborative thinking, decision-making, and speed of action.

One day about four years ago, I received an e-mail from Juliette Powell asking to meet me. She had recently formed The Gathering Think Tank with a group of young entrepreneurial leaders in technology, media, policy, art, science, innovation, and business. I told her about our aspirations in forming GBN—to bring together leaders of major corporations with prominent and exceptional thinkers, artists, and innovators who could share their knowledge and instincts about where the world was going and ways to respond. The idea was to create scenarios of the future that would help business leaders imagine different possibilities and share an intuitive sense of where things might be headed. Juliette and I were “e-introduced” through a mutual acquaintance who insisted that The Gathering Think Tank was the twenty-first century version of GBN and its “remarkable people.” He went on to say that of all the founders of GBN she should meet me, because she was ostensibly “the next generation Napier Collyns”!

With Juliette’s knowledge in media, new media, and technology and my experience of getting leaders to sit down and engage with the ideas of other people, we began to explore new ways of collaborating and doing business. So many new methods of exchanging information, ideas, and beliefs—both publicly and privately—had been developed through the proliferation of electronic communications that it was now possible to instantly share ideas with literally millions of people or just the few or the one you select. Juliette seemed to have all this in her head both from personal experience and from a kind of instinctual grasp!

That’s why I wanted Juliette to write this book: To help people, old and young, to participate in this new business and learning opportunity. She started teaching my colleagues and me to take advantage of the new social networking tools, which have helped us in our business as well in our personal lives. Now her book delivers those critical lessons to a much broader audience. Every single reader will learn something new, and each of us—from corporate executives to college graduates just starting their careers—will apply that knowledge in different ways. I am sure Juliette would be happy to coach any company that wants to dive deeper into this new world with greater confidence and craft and implement a tailor-made, winning social media strategy. As you read this book, you will see how these amazing new ways of social networking can lead you to more innovative and effective ways of doing business and staying connected.

Napier Collyns spent thirty years as an international energy executive. In 1987, he cofounded Global Business Network, now a member of Monitor Group, with Peter Schwartz, Stewart Brand, Jay Ogilvy, and Lawrence Wilkinson.

Foreword by jimmy wales and andrea weckerle

Wikipedia—a strange word no one had ever heard before it was coined in 2001. Today, less than eight years later, it is estimated that nearly one billion people have used the website. For many of them, Wikipedia has become a household word. Building a global brand like that, instantly recognizable by hundreds of millions of people, traditionally took decades and tens or hundreds of millions of dollars in marketing.

However, in creating and building Wikipedia into a household brand, the Wikimedia Foundation, the charity Jimmy founded to operate the project, spent nothing on marketing. Not one cent. Wikipedia essentially grew by word of mouth, as the excitement felt within the Wikipedia community spread one person at a time to bloggers and web masters, who in turn spread it to their readers, and their friends, and their mothers, and so on and on and on.

Using examples like this one and others featured in 33 Million People in the Room, Juliette Powell explains how businesses, large and small, are using modern online tools to cut through the clutter and reach their audience in new ways. Powell outlines how the use of social networks will help readers expand their business, reduce risks, and reduce costs—whether they are entrepreneurs at a small business just starting out, the marketing manager for a stable business that is decades old, or the CEO of a Fortune 500 company doing something as high tech as creating semiconductors, or as low tech as operating a corner wine shop.

In addition to discussing some of today’s most useful social networking tools and explaining how they are relevant to different situations, she drives home the point that every individual has the ability to increase their social capital—the network of relationships and the resources available and accessible therein—and their cultural capital—the influence and corresponding advantages resulting from that person’s knowledge, experience, and connections—which in turn have a positive effect on an individual’s ability to increase his or her financial capital.

Amidst the tech and consumer examples she uses to illustrate her points, Powell also throws in bits of fascinating information such as the UCLA and Boradex study that discusses the correlation between a company’s highly networked employees and the ability of that company to make better policy decisions and investments and therefore improve its bottom line.

Notably, some of the book’s most historically interesting sections involve recent United States politics. One recent example is Barack Obama’s 2008 win of the U.S. Presidency, where Powell dissects Obama’s internet campaign:

“The runaway success of Obama’s internet campaign rests primarily on three key factors, first among them a significantly larger financial investment in the online arena than those of his opponents. Obama’s campaign spent 10 to 20 times more on banner ads and sponsored links than his fellow candidates, running ads across a wide array of sites ranging from large newspapers like the Boston Globe to political blogs like Daily Kos and the Drudge Report. The second key factor in the campaign’s success was its lack of direct, in-your-face sales approaches. Clicking on an Obama banner ad led users not to a donation page, but rather to a form where they could sign up for campaign event invitations. Only after submitting the form were visitors asked to make a donation. By avoiding outright sales tactics, Obama confirmed his sincerity and sent supporters a clear, though unspoken, message: allegiance is more important than money. The third factor of Obama’s campaign, and the one that would take his message from a core group of ardently devoted followers and straight into the general public, lay in his deep understanding of the online world.”

The other is Al Gore’s still controversial loss of the bid for Presidency in 2000:

“In the United States presidential election of 2000, Al Gore won the popular vote but ultimately, thanks to a decision handed down by the Supreme Court, lost to Republican candidate George W. Bush. The defeat was humiliating, but through it, Gore would learn an invaluable lesson; one that would ultimately help him to change the course of history. With the defeat of Gore the politician, Gore the man could stop thinking about how he was supposed to act and start just being himself.... Perhaps the real key to Gore’s success in creating such widespread awareness of global warming was in a combination of his ability to passionately and convincingly communicate what he knew on the one hand, and on the other, in his shrewd ability to disseminate his message through his vast personal social network as well as to the multitudes of people who knew about him.”

33 Million People in the Room is a slender book, but don’t underestimate its importance just because it is less than 200 pages. Lots of business-type books are dry as a bone, but this one is engaging and fun to read. It can help you learn to do what Jimmy did with Wikipedia—for yourself, or for your business or charity. If you don’t understand the social nature of the web and make use of it to be successful, your competitors most certainly will.

Jimmy Wales, Founder of Wikipedia and Andrea Weckerle, Communications Consultant & Entrepreneur New York City, Autumn 2008

© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 23, 2010

    Waste of time and money

    This book is a collection of stories about what people did to create social networks, get recognition and make money. There is not a single creative, original thought from the author about how to develop a social network presence, what steps to take, etc. For someone who seems to be consulting in the field, she is extremely general and high-level. This feels like a book that was written just to say "I wrote a book". When I looked at the reviews / endorsements in the back cover after I finished reading it, I thought I must have been reading a different book. If you are looking for a book that is going to describe you the way to build a presence on the web, don't waste your time and money on this one.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Social networks are no fad. They're a permanent reality: one that offers immense opportunities to smart, innovative businesses

    I enjoyed it immensely. It was easy to read, so well written, and gave such great examples of people who have been successful with social networking that it inspired me to join a couple of networking sites myself! (Join me on Facebook and LinkedIn!)

    Her examples of the ways that LinkedIn, Facebook, MySpace and other online networking sites are changing business were a real eye opener for me. It made it so clear that social networking is the wave of the future. It's not just something "for the kids." I found myself recognizing the immense power and innovation prevalent in these new ways of communicating, deepening relationships, and remaining visible to those who are most interested in the services and products we have to offer.

    One well-known example Powell presents is the Obama campaign. Due to the power of social networking and their move to keep their donors and potential donors updated and engaged, Obama's campaign was the first to raise an incredible amount of money mainly from small donations. That story is compelling and interesting, but isn't one that I related to as much as some of the other tales of amazing success in small business.

    My favorite example is the strategy employed by Gary Vaynerchuk, whose inspiring accomplishments in positioning himself as a wine authority and promoting his family's New Jersey wine store are legendary in the social marketing world. Reading about how he transformed their wine business from 4 million dollars to 45 million dollars in revenue and carried his online popularity into the offline media world was fascinating!

    Those who don't embrace these fabulous tools will miss the boat! Powell has convinced me - and many others - that social networking is the latest, hottest trend and one that business people simply can't ignore. This book is for everyone and I encourage you to get your hands on a copy. Your future business success may depend on it.

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  • Posted June 1, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Savvy guide to social networks

    If your idea of forming a social network is still working the crowd at a cocktail party, drink up and join the 21st century. As any digitally literate teenager can confirm, online social networks are today's worldwide meet-and-mingle zones. Will joining a social network help you professionally or personally? Could it hurt you in any way? Which networks should you join? How should you use them? Social network guru Juliette Powell answers these questions and some that are more sophisticated in her savvy new book. She discusses LinkedIn, which she cites as the best social network for business people. She closely examines Facebook and MySpace, the most popular personal social networks. She explains the pluses and minuses of joining social networks, and provides useful tips on their protocols and customs. If you aren't yet at home in the online world of social networks, getAbstract recommends Powell's book as an excellent basic travel guide.

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    Posted July 23, 2010

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