I wonder how many people here are unfamiliar with the stories presented in the introductory speech or Charline Li’s keynote address? The
Jericho "nuts" campaign to save the show, the Dell fiasco(s) and things
like that are common case studies in the PR/marketing wing of the
blogosphere but received limited coverage in the mainstream press.

If I, as a blogger, feel passionate about a topic I can devote a ton of
time and "space to it because the barrier to me doing so is so
incredibly low. But the mainstream press might – if the story is
interesting enough – write a factual and dry column or story about it
and, if it’s really interesting, there might be an op-ed. But space is
limited and the barrier to publishing high.

Who’s the real influencer again? It’s no wonder social media has the power it does.

But it’s not just the online bloggers that need to be spoken to, it’s
the readers. Even if people are creating content of their own they’re
reading consumer-generated content and it’s playing a growing part in
their decision making. So companies that create the outlets for that
content to be created have somewhat of an advantage in reaching both
creators and subsequently readers.

I kind of agree and kind of disagree with that tactic. I’m of the mind
that going where people are already is more effective than creating new
outlets. Wal-Mart tried to create its own social network and that
didn’t turn out well. But larger than that I don’t know what the
advantage is other than a feeling of control. The tools on YouTube and
Facebook are so easy to use and anything that’s built is either going
to replicate those tools or create new ones people might be hesitant to
use. That’s just my opinion but I’ve yet to be convinced otherwise.

The larger point Charline is making is that brand advocates need to be
embraced in some way, shape or form. Some control needs to be
relinquished in order to let people exercise their enthusiasm. I think
that’s something we can all agree on and something that, unfortunately,
is not done enough.