Last week, I was able to attend the BlogWell conference in Chicago, where major brands and organizations presented case studies regarding their social media experience.

I wrote a guest post on Lee Odden’s TopRank blog, yet the event still has me thinking about social media and how businesses and organizations of all kinds are either embracing social media or still remaining skeptical.

Andy Sernovitz, CEO of GasPedal and organizer of the Blog Council, described the businesses that engage in social media as ones that are in essence changing corporate cultures.

“Don’t underestimate the bravery of what we’re all doing,” he said. “We’re entrenched in a bitter bureaucracy against change and the bloggerati who try to mock and undermine corporate bloggers. It’s going to be slower, harder and fraught with all kinds of high profile mistakes.”

And time and time again, companies and individuals have proven his words. However, slowly and steadily, other companies are pressing on, learning, engaging and bringing extraordinary change to their organizations.

In all of the examples from the conference, each company and organization stressed that transparency is essential. As Andy said, “If you have to ask, then it is wrong.”

When a corporation is ready to live by that philosophy, then social media is not that big of a leap.

— Tonja Deegan

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