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Thanks for your comments Alex and Susan. To your point Susan, it does seem to be a shift in how businesses, politicians and yes, even social marketers, need to be adapting to. The participation ethos may not resonate with every segment of society, but it has begun and it can be a good thing. The danger for anyone getting into this space is to not be satisfied with giving people a sense of 'empowerment' by soliciting their input and action. The key to all of this, I believe, will be in what I am calling 'validation' - to provide the feedback, through our decisions and actions, that people are being listened to and treated as collaborators and co-participants in shaping our world. I am talking more about 'empowerment and validation' as key features of the new media world. More to come on that...

Susan Kirby

Hi Craig, What an interesting and refreshing talk. Thanks for sharing. Your comment about US politicians is of course timely. Not to be partisan, but to point out differences in both US campaigns re this conversation. Obama's campaign seems to be leaning toward the empowerment concept with messages using words like "we" and his common refrain that we all have to be involved and that "he" alone will not change things but that together we, as a nation, can create change. This is one reason I think he beat out Hillary. Most Americans don't believe any politician who says "I will change this or that" because we know it's a massive system. Hillary insisted she had the experience to change things. Now McCain insists that "He can create that change." But it sure seems like more people are engaged by Obama's message of empowerment through OUR action. If you visit his web site (http://www.barackobama.com/issues/), you'll notice that each issue area has a button (Present your ideas here) for you to provide ideas for solutions to problems. So at least he's starting the discussion and being interactive. Are we on the path to empowerment politics? I think so.

Alex, aka Socialbutterfly

Thank you for the link Craig, and it was great finally having the opportunity to meet you in person. The conference was great, and I look forward to future events. I missed this keynote, so I was happy to read this post, and happy to read the messages within this keynote as well.

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