One of my favorite things to do here at Forrester is judge the Groundswell Awards. Started by Josh Bernoff as a way to drive increasingly practical discussion regarding the real benefits that derive from exploiting social media, judging these Awards is among the most collaborative things we do within Forrester's research community. Moreover, as we compare submissions across years, the Awards give us a chance to ask, "How is the state of the art changing in the world of social media?" Finally, each and every submission becomes a case that we can use over and over as we help clients navigate the turbulent waters of the social sphere. Very cool stuff.

Imagine the Forrester analysts that help role clients with social media — Josh et al. — sitting around a virtual table discussing the details of each individual submission. We consider all the POST attributes — people, objective, strategy, and tools/tactics — highlighting what's innovative, what's working, and what's generating returns. It reminds me a bit of being a kid and getting the Sears Catalog in the mail at the beginning of the holiday season. For those that weren't around before Lindsay Lohan was born, the Sears Catalog was the compendium of every toy, sporting good item, musical instrument, etc., that could possibly emerge from that big box from Grandma. Like me with my siblings, we analysts metaphorically sit on the sofa with the Groundswell Award submissions in our laps, pointing at the examples that we think are most cool and worthy. I say "like," of course, because I haven't yet found myself bouncing off the walls, screaming gibberish, like I did when I first saw the red bicycle I got when I was nine years old.


But I have to admit that I got pretty excited by last year's B2B Groundswell Award winners. One of the sections from the piece of research we wrote about last year's winners was titled, "FORRESTER GROUNDSWELL AWARDS WINNERS SHOW AMAZING RESULTS." And they did. I must have referenced last year's winner in the "Embracing" category, Archer Technologies, 20 times (now, 21). But it wasn't just Archer Tech, nor just the winners, that we used over and over to help clients fashion their social strategies. Why? Well, here's what one of our TPMM role clients said about the value they got from the Groundswell Awards (in a comment posted to the piece of research I just mentioned):

"Great examples and excellent advice for those wishing to start out in social media." Zoe Sands, Digital Marketing Manager, Cisco Systems, Inc.

 But time is running out. We close the "contest" August 27. So, if you want to contribute to this year's Groundswell Award conversation, ya gotta jump. Entry is easy. In your submission, make sure you make a big deal about achieved ROI. And don't forget: you cannot win if you don't enter.