In 2004 I read an article written jointly by Jim Nail, at the time a principal analyst at Forrester Research, and Pete Blackshaw, then chief marketing officer for Intelliseek. They quantified and defined the extent to which a sample set of trend-indicating online consumers were “pushing back” against traditional media. This was a turning point for me. I was working at GSD&M Idea City, an ad agency in Austin, Texas, where I was helping develop the online and integrated marketing strategy team. This was around the time when the first social networks began to gain critical mass. This caught my attention and became the focus of my work.
In this opening chapter, I’ll cover the origin of the social web and the events that ushered ...