Seth Godin, ask the question, "How much would you pay to be on Oprah's TV show?"
What would happen to your organization if you had a solid ten minutes with her majesty? How much benefit would you receive if you were able to tell your story to millions of people on television? Of course, you can’t pay to be on Oprah, but if you could, no doubt you would.
Seth goes on about the explosion of media channels, including the net, vying for are limited attention. "...either you’ll have a channel or you won’t."
So much has changed in the business world: mass media is fragmenting more each each day, markets are changing faster than most businesses can adapt to, and the ease of publishing to the net is as simple as email, Seth ask, ..."how much will I PAY to talk with these people?"
Today, it is not good enough to simply have a web site. There are just too many companies selling the same products and services for the same amount of money. What's working? Take look at how Amazon's customer's are participating and contributing. They are creating communities of interest around products, ideas, and services that change all the time. Word of mouth is spread with a click of the mouse.
The real kicker is that Amazon has figured out how to use social software - so can you!
So, if you're not paying the price to talk with your customer's and letting them contribute - someone else will.
Bonus link: Art Born of Outrage in the Internet Age
"A. J. Liebling famously commented that freedom of the press belongs to those who own one," said Mike Godwin, legal director of Public Knowledge, a First Amendment group. "Well, we all own one now."
...and from Jeff Jarvis, "Whither the networks"
...in this new small-is-the-new-big you no longer have to be No. 1 (or 2 or 3) to survive. You can be No. 3000 or 30,000 and be big enough to succeed. And so the networks will find themselves with 30,000 or 30 million new competitors nipping at them.