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Grouped: How Small Groups of Friends Are the Key to Influence on the Social Web

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  704 ratings  ·  63 reviews
The web is undergoing a fundamental change. It is moving away from its current structure of documents and pages linked together, and towards a new structure that is built around people. This is a profound change that will affect how we create business strategy, design, marketing, and advertising. The reason for this shift is simple. For tens of thousands of years we've bee ...more
Paperback, 159 pages
Published December 1st 2011 by New Riders Publishing (first published January 1st 2011)
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Dec 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Paul Adams is an insightful guy. I was wowed by his early thoughts on online social networks from back when he was trying to plug his ideas at Google.

So I've been waiting to read (and just finished) "Grouped", and here's a brain dump.

It is a fast read, and feels a lot like an "Elements of Style" for online social marketing. There isn't much discourse on theory, rather a list of expanded bullet points on what goes on in online networks, with a focus on mar
Tania Lukinyuk
Nov 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is what ideal business book should look like! Concise and straight to the point. A must read for anyone who is engaged in social media. It helps to understand the wider prospective of social media and our relationships with people, and provides good tips from professional and personal perspective. The book also provides list of references regarding certain topics for those interested to learn more. Loved it!
Trung Nguyen Dang
Feb 23, 2017 rated it liked it
The book was mention in the Chaos Monkey, the previous book that I read before this book. Paul Adams was Senior User Experience Researcher at Google before becoming Facebook’s global head of brand design. He left FB again in 2013 to join Intercom, a start-up that offers tools for online businesses to track every interaction with a customer and to use that data to deliver personalized messages and offers. In short, this is the guy who understands social networking, branding, and targeting adverti ...more
Ashley   Jaden
Aug 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Paul Adams’ Grouped: How Small Groups of Friends Are the Key to Influence on the Social Web (New Riders; 2011) is a primer on social behavior as it applies to the future of business. Adams summarizes the latest research on topics like influence, networking, and decision making, and then breaks down this information into ten easily digestible chapters. The premise of this book is that since the web is shifting from content to people, in order to be successful on the web, businesses need to unders ...more
Shawn Buckle
Mar 25, 2012 rated it liked it
Paul Adams' 'Grouped' is more of a summary or starting point to marketing in an online world. He himself admits this in the introduction, suggesting further reading for specific points and chapters. His book builds a good foundation for you to build on, diving into each topic more.

The four main points that I took away are:
1) The idea that there are go-to-influencers who can create an adoption wave is not a solution for the vast majority of products and services. I liked Gladwell's 'Tipping Point
Jun 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Paul Adams worked at Google during the formative days of Google+. He recognized that everyone involved with social media is trying to figure out how it works and why we're drawn to it. He put together a fairly massive slide stack in 2009-2010 or so that provided his insights to that lead to a book. It also led to him being recruited by Facebook. When he decided to leave Google for Facebook, his earlier book had not even published. Google went to court to stop publication, citing trade s ...more
Ellen Chisa
Dec 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, 2011, pm
If you're working on products, and you think you want to do anything social (you do) please read Grouped. One of my big pet peeves recently has been the overwhelming feeling that to make something "social" you just post to Twitter or Facebook. That isn't what social is. Grouped does a great job of explaining how you can use peoples' connections to actually create value, and deals with the topic at a much deeper level. I'm not going to try to summarize everything here, because the book is already ...more
Morgan Blackledge
Feb 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Wow, what a great book. In a nutshell; market using the social web, and your message will be heard by millions, by their most trusted sources, their friends. This book cherry picks some of the most interesting and applicable findings from the social sciences i.e. cognitive and social psychology and behavioral economics, and deftly applies them to marketing and public relations in the age of social media. The book is very readable, succinct, its sources are very well cited and each chapter is bul ...more
David Luna
Jan 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book challenges current marketing strategies and gives insight to new models like passive sharing. The social web is not a fad and Paul clearly lays out what will probably happen in the next five years, the companies who adapt and those who don't. The consumer is not looking towards businesses for information, they are trusting their friends advice and recommendations on products and services. Paul talks about how to get in the middle of those conversations and become a trustable and valuab ...more
Kerem Mermutlu
Mar 07, 2012 rated it liked it
Interesting read about about the internet and social networks, a little bit annoying about how it always mentions facebook all the time though. The idea that we are in the '3rd' stage of the internet is a good one- basically our lives are now being transferred to everything online. 1st stage-we put stuff on the internet, 2nd stage- we share stuff on the internet, 3rd stage we become robots (only joking!!) I wish this book went into more detail about the 3rd stage though. ...more
Apr 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Very cool insight in the ways groups work in social media how we are not necessarily influenced by "influentals" but much more by our environment, friends, family etc. This book, written by a former manager at Facebook and now working for Google+ is easy to read and really interesting. ...more
Heather Branstetter
So this book is pretty useful. Pragmatic information, much of it common sense and some of it already in the cultural zeitgeist, but it's a great synthesis of some good research available on social connecting, persuasion, and how the mind works. It is a quick read (I listened to it on Audible and it only takes 3 1/2 hours) so it won't use up that much of your time. Adams summarizes succinctly, translates information that would normally be arduous to wade through, and offers you the resources to g ...more
Mar 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: study
Fantastic introduction to social networks for undergraduates. Perfectly explains the fundamental concepts, and then it's up to the intructor whether/how far beyond the text they want to nudge their students. The supplementary reading notes at the end of every chapter and helpful to design that segment too. Thanks Paul Adams! ...more
Jeannie Hardeman
Jul 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
A more pragmatic view on human social networking, swimming a bit against the grain of established thought in this domain. But with the author working for Facebook and building his cases on behavioral research of 700 FB users, who is to argue with the facts?
Annie Liu
Sep 06, 2017 rated it liked it
like a copy of paper. like ads for facebook.
Aug 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is worth 5 stats if only for the books and papers referenced. A gold mine for anyone interested in social networks.
Jack Smith
Nov 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
Short book. I didn’t learn anything that could really be useful to me.
Sep 13, 2019 rated it it was ok
Reads as a thinly veiled ad for Facebook marketing. Uses solid sources but presents very one-sided view and isn't upfront about the motivation behind the book. ...more
Troy Swinehart
Jan 22, 2013 rated it it was ok
Recommendation from a friend....Thanks for the guidance Alan. (Just picked this up...)

Great read! Thanks again Alan for the suggestion. Paul Adams certainly made me think differently about how the social web functions. He sets a lot of accepted truths about influence and trust on their ear.

If you are curious about the remaking of the web to connect people (instead of things) and how those connections influence adoption of products this is really a must read. There were several points thought thi
Feb 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
i encourage anyone getting started in (on-line) social networks to begin with this book. it's a neat, well-written and easy-to-read survey of the state-of-the art in the field, authored by a person who's apparently very familiar with the area. read it!

having said that, i also encourage anyone wanting to dig a little deeper to actually check out the sources used in the book; i guess there's more than one controversy lurking in what is here presented as facts. for instance, the notion of one being
Chad Kohalyk
Apr 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, working
Great little book giving an overview of a wide array of research on social networks and how information passes through them. Though near the end it gets a little too evangelical for permission marketing IMHO, I think it is a great starting point for learning about the social aspects of building web products today. Many of the cases in the book might be familiar to you if you read a lot of new business books, or books on decision-making and/or popular psychology. Adams does a good job highlightin ...more
Jun 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Practical, concise and full of insight, Grouped draws on findings from Facebook and some very credible research sources. Case studies in the book are biased towards campaigns (and erm... Facebook), but the principles are highly relevant to many services, websites or applications.

If you work in marketing, development or design then some of the themes will be very familiar, but what makes this book so useful is that it explains the human psychology that underpins those themes in a very memorable
Pamela J Myers
How we use the internet to research, communicate and connect is undergoing a fundamental change. The fact that Google is now a verb and is part of our new vocabulary is a strong indicator of this change. It is moving away from its current structure of documents and pages linked together and towards a new structure that is built around people. This is a profound change that will affect how we create business strategy, design, marketing, and advertising. The reason for this shift is simple... Peop ...more
Mar 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
A great read for anyone who is (or will be) attempting to market a product to the masses. This book teaches you why traditional interruptive marketing is inferior to targeting small groups of friends. A lot of the book is just summarized topics from research papers, which serves as a high-level overview that is easy to read. It is a pretty short book that goes out of its way to repeat and summarize topics, so don't expect in-depth analysis or details on the backing research papers. ...more
Ted Witt
May 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: marketing
Paul Adams dissects social media statistics, arguing against elite "influencers" as a means to change.

He sprinkles the book with quick tips and chapter summaries, making the paperback useful as a reference for later review.

He also digests practical advice garnered from brain research that takes the guess work out of a lot of marketing decisions. In all, Grouped is a great encapsulaed look at strategies that would ordinarily require a reading of 10 to 20 other books.
Phil Chen
Jul 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Best social media book I have read in a long time. It's actually based on actual research, and references studies and ideas prior to the advent of social media as we know it today as well as current research.

At the end of each chapter it references material and sources that you can research further for more detail on the chapter.

Brings me back to my Sociology and Social Psychology days in College prior to the internet as we know it today.
Sabrina EVHS Lim
May 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
I read this book for my research paper and it provided many details explaining how groups of teenagers are able to take matters into their own hands via social networking. Through these websites they self each themselves skills such as promotion, design, and marketing. It also discusses why we as a society are so reliant on this form of communication. I thought it was a very informative read and am glad I picked it up for my research.
Fayadh Alhaj
Mar 08, 2012 is currently reading it
really interesting book by the guy who come up with the idea of google circles, he moved to Facebook building Facebook lists after his fight with google due to a leaked presentation in 2010.

he goes deep into the human relationships and social life and how our online life is emerging with the offline lives. very good advices and researches for marketers.
Richard Chen
Oct 22, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013
Good, quick read. Lots of psych insights, but not always sure how it can be easily translated to online lives

A lot of the material reminded me of CMU Ravi's class on social networks! -

Also, as a counter, Video marinos sent me on the loneliness due to social networks / tech -
Ingus Rūķis
Jan 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A masterpiece. If you work in field of social media, this is definitely a must-read book. It includes lots of real-world examples on how social media actually works and includes tons of references of scientific researches.
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