Sidewiki is a game-changer
Indeed the consumers own the social media and the release of Google's sidewiki emphasizes your point that brand owners can no longer afford to not participate. Social content can and will be published -- and now appear right next to your own corporate web content.in reference to:
"The reality is, CONSUMERS own social media, not brands and certainly not agencies. Whether we like it or not, we now must market our brands in a landscape where consumers have the tools to make their voice heard, and the technology to hear what everyone else is saying. Any more hesitation on the part of a brand to participate and engage in dialogue with their consumers is extremely risky. It's not about waiting to get this "right", but about participating now (ie. small pilot programs with a focus on learning, experimentation, and quick wins), and doing so with a spirit of honesty and transparency."
- Saatchi Wellness: Who Owns Social Media (view on Google Sidewiki)