Online communities: friend or foe?

I've been doing some more thinking about Guy Kawasaki's ideas on creating community, and all that's involved to make one work in a virtual environment.

The benefits, as Guy outlines, are many. The only problem, as I see it, is that both corporations and associations are terrified to lose control of the conversation. What if someone says something bad about the organization, or innapropriate, or downright libelous? By providing the resources and encouraging the community, is the organization liable for what that community says and does? The American Society of Business Publication Editors is soliciting members to submit their blogs for a member blog directory to be hosted on ASBPE's site, which already contains links to blogs of interest to business-to-business publishers. If their member-bloggers (disclaimer: I'm one of them, as well as being on my local chapter's board)

Apropos of nothing, other than I thought this was funny, Apple Computer Inc. has embedded a cute little poem to warn people not to hack OSX:

    Your karma check for today: There once was a user that whined/his existing OS was so blind/he'd do better to pirate/an OS that ran great/but found his hardware declined./Please don't steal Mac OS!/Really, that's way uncool./(C) Apple Computer, Inc.
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