When Jesse Thomas of JESS3 and I started to lay the foundation for the Conversation Prism, we realized that it was a much larger task then simply categorizing social networks and placing them within a visually-rich graphic or chart. My goal was to observe, analyze, dissect, and present the dynamics of conversations, how and where they transpired. It is a living, breathing representation of Social Media and will evolve as services and conversation channels emerge, fuse, and dissipate.
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. This dialog can be charted into a targeted social map that’s unique to your brand. In the example below, I created a Social Map using MindJet to represent the communities where I either need to or currently contribute based on my initial research.
Perhaps most importantly, the process of listening and observing will reveal the cultures of the very communities you may wish to engage.
Remember, participating in Social Media is more meaningful when you have a deeper understanding of anthropology and sociology and not just the social tools that facilitate interaction. This is about creating and cultivating relationships with people, online and in the real world, and these relationships are defined by mutual value and benefits.
In the social economy, relationships are the new currency.
The Social Media Manifesto was released in April of 2007 and was greeted by strong support from both new and traditional PR practitioners. I wrote it as a way of showcasing the tools, philosophies, strategies, and reasons for companies to learn how and why to engage with their community of customers and prospects.
Monologue has given way to dialog.