"Brands are completely exposed in social media,"
Who says that elephantine old media can't learn a few new dance steps every now and again? See what we've done for you this week - a bright new look, with this column being pummelled, stretched and contorted into an entirely different shape.
Hard-core Web 2.0 types may laugh and accuse us of merely "rearranging the deck-chairs on the Titanic". But I say: you ain't seen nothin' yet. (And, by the way, I'm sure the guy who rearranged the deck-chairs on the Titanic did a perfectly reasonable job. Show some respect.)
Jupiter Research found that almost half were planning to advertise on so-called "social media" networking sites
Business leaders worry about the web. It wasn't around when they were growing up, or when they were at business school. Most people in senior management positions built their careers in the pre-digital era. The internet economy is a great big "known unknown", perhaps the scariest of Donald Rumsfeld's famous epistemological categories.
But businesses have woken up to the web's potential. A survey of US brand marketers carried out last month by online analysts Jupiter Research found that almost half were planning to advertise on so-called "social media" networking sites - MySpace, Bebo, Facebook - this year. Managers are rushing to catch up with the phenomenal growth of blogs and social media, which has left a lot of companies feeling a bit vulnerable.
"Brands are completely exposed in social media," says Simon McDermott, co-founder and chief executive of Attentio, a Brussels-based internet monitoring company that tracks the blogosphere and social networking sites. "It's inevitable that people are going to talk about you, for good or ill, and they may well have a propensity to write some pretty negative stuff."