Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Conversation Prism

Brian Solis is one of the most widely respected practitioners at the intersection of social media technology and PR today. A few days ago, he posted an item on his blog called Introducing The Conversation Prism which explores how virtual conversations are happening today - taking in to account all of the different social media options available.

I've reposted the image here because I think it's probably the first comprehensive visual representation of the current state of social media. Which, by definition, means that it's absolutely ground-breaking.

For most of the media's history, the mechanics of conversation were simpler - but much less democratic. Broadcasters and publishers spoke to audiences, and audiences listened. Now that audiences are able to speak as well - through any mechanism that's comfortable to them - broadcasters and publishers (and the advertisers that fund them) are scrambling to learn how to listen and respond.

Solis says in his post:
If a conversation takes place online and you’re not there to hear or see it, did it actually happen?
Indeed. 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 conversations are increasingly distributed, everything begins with listening and observing. Doing so, will help you identify exactly where relevant discussions are taking place, as well as their scale and frequency.

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