In my book, I talk a good deal about how "too busy to shop"consumers are flocking to online/social networking sites and using those sites as a filter for credibility and a short-cut for making purchase decisions. Consumers are not going to branded sites nearly as much. In fact, in my book, I predict that visits to branded sites "will slow to a trickle" compared to these other sites.
The Wall Street Journal had a great article in today's edition called "The Fan Knows Best" by two marketing researchers that illustrates that point. The article calls out: 1. Stop Controlling Everything 2. Welcome Diversity. 3. Give Visitors Ways of Interacting and 4. if you can't be like the fan sites, at least monitor and support them.
See full text here.