I must say, my "Across the Sound" podcast session with Joe Jaffe and "Customer Evangelist" guru Jackie Huba about Consumer Generated Media was more energizing than Red Bull on steroids. We covered so much ground that the podcast had to broken up into two sessions. (Part One Here.) Candidly, it was one of the most meaningful discussions I've had regarding what's most "real" and "authentic" about CGM, and while we all share an almost fanatical passion for all things consumer, we hardly netted out in the same place. Jackie Huba, for example, was much more skeptical about the GM Chevy Tahoe campaign, understandably questioning whether the marketer was truly giving enough control to the consumer. My views were more tempered by my big company Procter & Gamble experience, where a campaign along the lines of the ChevyTahoe promotion probably would have had real challenge even getting out the gate with legal. Hence my feeling that GM, another very large company, made quite a leap in allowing even a wee bit of consumer control and expression in this ad campaign. Another point I hammered away on (quite a few times) is that before brands embark upon CGM experiments they need to first tend to their current customer-touchpoint venues. For example, many of the brands seeking to communicate a greater commitment to consumer empowerment and expression have horrendous "contact us" forums. Many treat "consumer affairs" like it's the last place that matters in marketing. If a consumer can "shape their own ad," why are we so weary of them "shaping and sharing an opinion" directed at us? Before we try to dress up a permanent or "event" based front door, or welcome mat, we first need to take a hard look at our permanent fixtures. Part 2 of the Across the Sound podcast gets into this in greater detail. Thanks to Joe Jaffe for organizing this very important (long overdue) discussion, and also to Jackie Huba for always keeping us honest about the true definition and meaning of "customer evangelism."