One new role, is being a source of information during disaster.
If you had told me even two years ago that the one place victims and helpers alike would turn for information and aide during a major catastrophe like the Japan earthquake would be social media, I would have called you crazy. Yet, this is exactly what happened (read about it at nytime.com). This was in part thanks to the fact that even one of the largest earthquakes we will ever see could not kill Japan's internet Service, thanks to planning and design (learn more at eWeek.com).
Another reason people turn to these resources is because most of us walk around with a video camera in our pockets. and we have been conditioned to pull them out and record whenever something interesting happens, and then share it with our neighbors worldwide. We have all become unofficial members of the media in this respect. And in some respects we have become THE media. Just look at the blogs we read, the twitter accounts we follow, and the other social media sites and tools we tune into. Then take stock at how many traditional news sites we follow or tune into...if you are like me, not many.