Is Social Media the New Black?

Dave Evans of Digital Voodoo wrote a thought-provoking article on ClickZ about whether social media should be considered a marketing channel, or a collaborative space for social networks to learn. The answer to that question drives whether  the consumers' message drives the social web, or whether it remains another soap box for marketers. We posted a comment to Evans' article professing that the social web is ultimately driven from the consumer's perspective up, and not vice-versa. We would be curious to hear your insights here.