Clay, Clay, Clay... You have it wrongo. It's not about your conversations with your customers, or GM's conversations with their customers, or Coke's with theirs. It's about the conversations already going on AMONG your customers, non-customers, potential customers, your grandma, your cousins, your mama's boyfriend (i.e. micromarkets emerging on the net--well fuck emerging, they're here... we're here). It's about our conversations with one another.
You're talking about what has been, but we're talking about what's coming, and in some cases, what's here. Better yet, Gonzo is free, baby. Not expensive. It just takes some creativity, wide-open thinking, and discarding of fear on the part of businesses. Group communication is cheap (jeez, I pay $45 a month for DSL and look at who I get to talk to). So don't be so worried, Clay.
But then, maybe I'm a doofus.