It's a familiar litany now, that the openness and transparency of social media will unleash a wide range of compelling outcomes for our organizations, if we'll only embrace it. While there is little doubt that social media is one of the great phenomenons of our age, there are certainly those that think the hype surrounding it is also a bit over-egged.
Yet a growing set of compelling examples is showing us unique and vitally useful outcomes that are only possible in social media. For those just catching up with the story, part of the uniqueness and power of social media is that it generaly makes the information that's shared -- using social networks, blogs, and other forms -- public by default.
This is in contrast to earlier forms of analog and digital communication, where we were required to have perfect foreknowledge of who should be involved in a conversation, such as their phone number(s), e-mail address(es), or other contact info. Everyone else was automatically excluded from the process and the contents of the discourse itself was largely invisible and left little behind.