I have a fascination with communities, enough so that building one is now one of my primary tasks at work. Communities engender the raison d’etre of open-source software. More importantly, though, they encourage people to get along and work cooperatively.

Just this morning, I finally finished reading one of the seminal works on the subject of communities. The book Groundswell was written by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff, both well-known marketing analysts with Forrester Research. The subtitle of the book is very telling: “Winning in a world transformed by social technologies.”

The book walks through a large number of sample cases, both positive and negative, showing effective ways to approach the building of corporate and social communities as well as leveraging those that already exist. It is a must-read for anyone starting or managing a community, or wondering about how communities affect their businesses, now and in the short-term future.

Also, be sure to watch this video interview of Charlene Li.