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The Palm Pilot. The novel Cold Mountain. The iMac. Hotmail. FedEx. The Blair Witch Project and There's Something About Mary. According to former marketing exec Emanuel Rosen, they all became successful not through traditional advertising or marketing routes, but through "buzz," that semitangible process through which information and commentary jump from one brain or mouth to another.

Rosen also claims buzz can create customer loyalty, which he says is built through the advice of friends, colleagues, or such trusted "mega-hubs" of information as Oprah Winfrey and Rosie O'Donnell. Rosen has spent the past few years studying the routes, nodes, and clusters through which buzz passes and grows, and the result is this well-researched book.