The reaction I often hear when talking about social media is one of befuddlement. Why would I want to know what some guy I went to high school with had for breakfast? Folks new to this arena commonly don't see it's value, at least not immediately.
The space is clearly still early in it's formation, but it seems so promising because of the way it can connect large numbers of people and facilitate new communications. But that seems so abstract, and when I talk about social media, if I'm honest, my comments often are abstract and "out there." New ways of connecting are all well and good, but if I'm a small distributor, a retail store or a preschool, what does that really mean to me? How can I use this stuff in my work?
This is why I love the Open Web Awards. If you want to see some great examples of how companies are using social media, you can get a great feel for it by perusing some of the nominees for these awards. I highly recommend doing so!