It's been said about marketing that you are what gets published...and then talked about. At no time has this been more important to the hoteliers than now...for two reasons, control and access.
In the not so distant past, companies controlled their content (propaganda) via ads, advertorials, testimonials and to some degree, editorials written about them. Websites, cd's, sales presentations and brochures were the company mouthpiece to hype their offerings. And, there wasn't much a customer could do to challenge any of it...except maybe talk to a neighbor or colleague. And, even though digital cameras and video have been around for years, there was no practical way to share any of the creations...no social communities...no way to connect. Even though people had a story to tell, there wasn't a place or an easy process to make it available. Technology has changed all of that. Affordable, high-bandwidth internet connections have led to an outpouring of information. Sites like flickr, yelp and youtube have created a firestorm of user perspectives. Companies are no longer in control of the message. And, that's the part of web 2.0 that should get your attention.
Now, you can either see this new marketing as a threat, and continue to go down the traditional paths of publishing content, hoping to outflank and outshout a fast emerging group of individuals. Or, you could do the smart thing and join-in on the fun. You could find ways to initiate, participate and leverage conversations. You could build relationships with both your current and would be customers. You could engage with raging fans as well as complainers. You could learn from people that matter the most.
My point is...just get started.