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In a recent post about the Social Media revolution in the always interesting blog by Brian Solis, we are introduced to this concept of “distributed participation”. The post echoes the results of a Forrester Research study about the use of social technologies in 2009. Not surprisingly the growth of usage is not stopping with only 18% of US adults not taking part in the social game.

But the real interest lies in the qualitative conclusion that “now is the time to build social marketing applications and that Interactive marketers should influence social network chatter, master social communication, and develop social assets – even if their customers are older”. That’s distributed participation.

As Solis states, it’s about strategic engagement focused on listening and research. We have to listen to the conversations because they take place even if we don’t listen or take part. “We are either part of or absent from the decision making process”.

In the PR world we have always prouded ourselves for “knowing” the media. We should embrace, engage and take part in the new media because it will empower our services, our capabilities and our results.