Lately, I have been doing a bit of discourse analysis (looking at the conversations that take place) for brands in social environments. One thing I have noticed is the quality of insights is dependent on the channel alot of the times.
I believe that there are two traits that affect how civilized a community will be online, the opportunity to be anonymous and the chance of offline interaction.
We expect brands to act civilized all the time and I think that they can struggle with having valuable conversations when consumers are not playing by the same rules.
Brand guardians must remember that further down the path of uncivilized communities the value of peoples opinion and feedback becomes less reliable because people are not accountable to their words.