Much has been made in the last 5 years about the democratization of publishing and how the line between publishers and consumers of content is getting blurred. It's an attractive way to describe the trend. (Hey, who doesn't like more democracy?) But I think it misdescribes what's really happening.
The real paradigm shift in Web 2.0, I believe, is the blurring the line between publication and collaboration. In the old days, people collaborated in private. They talked to their friends and colleagues, wrote letters. Later they sent emails. All the real thinking happened in those private conversations. Eventually, once the key insights had been extracted, refined, and clarified, they published: books, articles, speeches, blast memos, etc.
To me, the really exciting thing that's happening in Web 2.0 and Enterprise 2.0 is that more and more of those private "pre-publication" interactions are happening in public (or at least semi-public). I think of this as the dawn of the "Work in Progress" culture. We no longer think that something has to be finished before we let strangers into the conversation.
There are great public examples of this. My personal favorite is the by-line on Chris Anderson's Long Tail Blog. Chris describes his blog as "a public diary on themes around a book". (If memory serves, it used to be called "a public diary on the way to becoming a book." I guess he had to change the by-line when the book came out.) What's cool about Chris's blog is that it's not exactly democratizing publishing. Chris is a veteran journalist, and he probably would have written the book with our without the blog. But the line between pre-publication and publication got blurred, and I'd wager that the book, and the public discourse around it, were far better as a result.