Everything I bang on about concerning social media: the Gutenberg principle, the shift in trust from institutions to process, why its about spaces not places, why the new audience is neither an individual or a crowd but the connected crowd (post in draft) is fantastically illustrated in this talk by Clay Shirky. (Sorry – can’t get the video itself to embed)
It gives a perfect illutration of how the media world has changed and why social media is different. It is 17 minutes long and essential viewing for anyone with the slightest interest in This Social Media Thing.
The question it leaves hanging is “what do you do about it?” – although it does illustrate what I always present as the first part of the answer, namely to recognise that social media is fundamentally different and the approaches you used in the traditional media world will not work in the social media space.
I would than say what you do about it is focus on three things:
Content – make much more of it, make it much more niche and much more portable
Conversation – listen to it and then respond to it
Community – understand, support and possibly host the process of community building rather than try and build you own communities.