Posted on August 20, 2008
Filed Under Culture & Technology |
Recently, Web 2.0 partygoer, photographer and PR guy Brian Solis introduced the Conversation Prism to the world.
Calling it his “contribution to a new era of media education and literacy,” Solis explains the importance of the Conversation Prism:
The conversation map is a living, breathing representation of Social Media and will evolve as services and conversation channels emerge, fuse, and dissipate.
Conversations are taking place with or without you and this map will help you visualize the potential extent and pervasiveness of the online conversations that can impact and influence your business and brand.
As a communications or service professional, you’ll find yourself at the center of the prism - whether you’re observing, listening or participating. This visual map is the ideal complement to The Essential Guide to Social Media and the Social Media Manifesto, which will help you better understand how to listen and in turn, participate transparently, sincerely, and effectively.
How New Age.
Although I’m not “deep into” the Web 2.0 “game,” I’m not completely clueless as to Web 2.0’s “major players” and the current happenings.
So I couldn’t help but observe that at least half of the logos contained within the Conversation Prism were foreign to me. And I’d venture a guess that they’re probably foreign to most individuals outside of the Web 2.0 party trail as well.
Of course, Solis responded, “Value is in the eye of the beholder and even penny stocks can deliver value when invested in and cultivated wisely.”
Advice to Solis: stick to your Web 2.0 “sociology” and “anthropology.” Your bank account will thank you.
But I digress.
When I look at the Conversation Prism, I can’t help but wonder - just what conversations are taking place and why are they more important to Solis and Web 2.0 kool aid drinkers than, say, the conversations that take place every day in coffee shops, schools, churches, workplaces and the hundreds of other venues where people come together and interact in real life?
Sure, technology plays a very prominent role in the way many of us communicate today (and, of course, not always for the better), but does the Conversation Prism really provide an accurate depiction of the online locations where the majority of the population is congregating to engage in meaningful “conversations”?
Of course not.
Most individuals are not sharing their knowledge on a Wetpaint wiki, streaming their life on UStream, posting their photos on Zooomr, keeping track of their bookmarks using diigo, accessing the news through Digg, publishing their thoughts on Blogger, participating in the BlogLog community, posting their “activity stream” through FriendFeed, creating videos for Viddler or reviewing restaurants on Yelp.
At the end of the day, while Solis and his Web 2.0 comrades run around trying to keep up with all the meaningless “conversations” and all the trendy but marginal online services that supposedly foster them, people living in the real world are having real interactions with each other in the Conversation Sphere.
Yes, our planet is very 1.0ish, but when it comes right down to it, it’s pretty damn hard to beat.
I’ll take the pyramids of Giza over a Flickr photo gallery, a phone call over a tweet, a nightclub over Facebook, a library over a wiki, a personal recommendation over a Yelp review, a shared experience with a friend over a FriendFeed “stream,” a concert with a date over Last.fm and a personal note sent to a family member over a blog post “broadcast” to everyone in my “social graph.”
I’ll take each and every one of these things over their Internet counterparts because in the Conversation Sphere, people are actually interacting with each other. In the Conversation Prism, people are interacting with computers and “services.”
Frankly, I find that the best and most meaningful conversations take place without the interference of “services” and machines.
Given that, I hope Solis and his “friends” some day experiment with Conversation 1.0. They just might like it.
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