homersapienI was rereading some of the stuff I had both written myself and which others had written in early 2006 recently. I was honestly a little surprised by the tone of some of the posts, especially in regards to the role businesses had to play in social media marketing and online word-of-mouth. The prevailing attitude among a lot of people seemed to be that businesses had little to no part to play in the conversation and that whenever they did get involved it just got in the way of the free exchange of ideas.

It got me thinking about how much the landscape has changed in the last three years.

Maybe because smart, savvy people have made their way into the corridors of power at companies, but now participation is seen as an essential component of the marketing mix. The shift seems to have taken us from “Leave us alone, Big Company! We’re trying to have a conversation here” to “Why hasn’t Big Company set up a stand-alone Twitter account to address this single issue!”

It’s helpful, I find, to go back occasionally and read some older stuff. It puts what’s happening now in context, context that’s often lost as we zip along from this new bit of technology to that new bit of thinking and so on and so forth.