Nice summing up by Lolly in a meme that's doing the round on best practice in social media (started at Mitch's blog). It's notable that the majority of responses that she's rounded up, as well as her own (forging relationships) involve human interaction. And that's really how it should be. It's not rocket science to understand. While the internet, and blogs, and forums, and everything else, can seem quite vast, intimidating, and faceless, they're still built on human interaction and relationships that, in turn, are an extension of the social norms in everyday lives.
In my area, journalists and PRs who are wary of social media or dismiss it, should think as to how they'd act in a group. If there's a conversation, unless you're a crass person you don't gatecrash this group conversation and demand people tell you something or start talking about what you want to talk about. You've got to earn the trust and respect of those partaking in the conversation first. Social media is no different.
Even though I wasn't tagged in the meme, I'll tag a few others:
New dad David North (congrats David)
And Matthew, who probably will take ages to respond as his keyboard's broken.
Oh, and anybody else who wants to. Because they can.
Just blog it, link to Mitch's blog, tag it 'social media marketing best practices project', and then tag somebody else.
While you get down to that, I'm going to rub painkilling gel into my shoulder. Something I'd much rather I didn't have to do at all, but if it needs to be done, that it was carried out by Scarlett Johansson.