I disagree intensely with this statement:
Doc and Dave and Chris Locke thought they were writing something that told marketers how empowered, networked individuals made their messages and methods obsolete, powerless. Instead, they merely furthered the aims of marketers by blurring the lines between the social and the commercial spheres. "Markets are conversations," is one of the most corrosive ideas ever popularly embraced, in my opinion.
The result is "corrosive" only because marketers aren't yet marketing correctly. Many of them translate "markets are conversations" as "I should throw several million ad banners on blog networks and hope the 'cool factor' rubs off on my brand." Many others translate it to mean "I should pay people to shill." It is going to take a LOT of work to get marketers back on the right path. Along the way, we're going to see a shitload of aborted attempts, embarrassing gaffes and worse.
One of the things I've learned in recent weeks is that a conversational media idea can quickly be derailed by overzealous marketing types. Many ad agencies are happy to let the idea go awry if it means they get paid a commission to sprinkle blogs with advertising fairy dust. I've found that the best way to keep the idea from being polluted by broadcast model thinking is to say, in no uncertain terms, "We are not interested in faking this on your behalf. It will hurt both of our reputations. We're not prepared to take this assignment on if you're uncommitted to real, meaningful conversation."
Sometimes it makes the client kill the project. Other times, it makes them take things a bit more seriously.