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Introducing The Conversation Prism Version 3.0

If a conversation takes place online and you’re not there to hear it, did it really happen?

On August 5, 2008 JESS3 and I introduced version 1.0 of The Conversation Prism. Today, I’m proud to announce The Conversation Prism Version 3.0. With the introduction of 3.0, our view of the social media panorama is updated and also reflective of the real world that is embracing and organizing the social Web.

One of the aspects that make social media so fascinating is the conversations that define the culture and value of each community. While many of us operate on the information that fill public streams, sometimes the most interesting aspects of a story take place in the back channel. The Conversation Prism has its own story and I’d like to share it with you.

Version 1.0 was inspired by the Social Media Starfish, which Darren Barefoot and Robert Scoble debuted in November 2007. Initially, it was intended to show the vastness of the social topography and that its size and shape expanded far beyond the most often cited networks, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, et al. As such, The Conversation Prism was designed with three goals in mind…

Goal #1: Create Social Map Based on Observation and Study

As an aspiring social scientist, I was inspired to map the social media universe by both features and capabilities and also how people were really using these tools, networks and services. Doing so, would help us better understand how to survey the landscape by approachable groups rather than as a single entity, which to many, was and still is, an intimidating task.

Goal #2: Search, Listen, and Learn

At the time, there were many posts and discussions that created a perception that people and brands needed to expand their reach and presence by engaging everywhere. It occurred to me that each network featured a search box and as budding brand managers, both personal and professional, we could use keywords to reveal conversations and determine whether or not our presence was required. In the networks where activity was flourishing, I was able to listen, document, and learn how to engage in each community with a mission, purpose, and value-added perspective. Keep in mind that at the time, listening and monitoring solutions were fledgling.

Goal #3: Set the foundation for sCRM and Introduce New Social Technologies + Methodologies

In 2008, I was mapping the connection between the results from social search, the organized structure of conversations, and how they impacted every facet of the business. Conversations were largely viewed as the responsibility for either service, communications, or marketing. In reality, conversations affect the varying divisions of a company, including…

Sales
Product
Support
Marketing
PR
Community
Crisis
HR
Finance

With Version 2.0, introduced in March 2009, The Conversation Prism visualized Social CRM (sCRM) to help businesses recognize the opportunity to listen, learn and adapt. The hub was now a rotating visualization of conversational workflow to inspire the socialization of business and to introduce conversational touchpoints across the organization.

Introducing Version 3.0

Without further ado, allow me to introduce you to The Conversation Prism V 3.0.

Like its version 2.0 predecessor, 3.0 represents considerable evolution. Of course certain networks and tools have vanished or merged and at the same time, important new services have emerged. You’ll notice that the categories have also transformed quite a bit. Some branches have collapsed, consolidated and new classifications were established.

New groupings include…

Social Curation
Nicheworking
Social Commerce

Version 3.0 is hosted at TheConversationPrism.com. We’re adding a variety of sizes and formats for you to download and use freely (with credit to Brian Solis & JESS3 of course). And for those who enjoy wall art, v 3.0 is also available as a 22 x 28 vertical poster.

Click to Order Poster

The Evolution of The Conversation Prism

Version 1.0

Version 2.0

Version 3.0

Visit TheConversationPrism.com

Connect with Brian Solis on Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Facebook
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322 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Introducing The Conversation Prism Version 3.0”

  1. This is one of the most definitive resources for Social Media, all the way since its first incarnation. 3.0, at the same era as WordPress 3.0 ;). What will 4.0 give us? Holarchies here in place, where social software/media/web are the meta-parts to count in when we only take three generic terms capturing the infrastructure of this. Time to wrap up some mega-insights to contextualize this and other strands of thought, in relation to actually trans-shift the world. For the better.

    Thanks for being there in creative commons shared support for us who try to communicate how to Engage! people in the fun of Engaging! 🙂 ;).

    Peace,
    Anders
    http://andersabrahamsson.info

  2. This is one of the most definitive resources for Social Media, all the way since its first incarnation. 3.0, at the same era as WordPress 3.0 ;). What will 4.0 give us? Holarchies here in place, where social software/media/web are the meta-parts to count in when we only take three generic terms capturing the infrastructure of this. Time to wrap up some mega-insights to contextualize this and other strands of thought, in relation to actually trans-shift the world. For the better.

    Thanks for being there in creative commons shared support for us who try to communicate how to Engage! people in the fun of Engaging! 🙂 ;).

    Peace,
    Anders
    http://andersabrahamsson.info

  3. Anonymous says:

    Brian, thanks for including http://www.edocr.com on version 3.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Brian, thanks for including http://www.edocr.com on version 3.

  5. Kate says:

    Hey Brian,

    I attended your Optsum keynote in Dallas a few weeks back, and since then I had a very interesting social media interaction with Best Buy, via a blog post review that I wrote. I figured you might be interested to see how a major corporation like Best Buy is doing social media when they don’t think that anyone is watching. Check out the link below. Happy reading!

    http://www.somethingaboutkate.com/2010/10/dear-best-buy-flexi-compras-review-part.html

  6. Kate says:

    Hey Brian,

    I attended your Optsum keynote in Dallas a few weeks back, and since then I had a very interesting social media interaction with Best Buy, via a blog post review that I wrote. I figured you might be interested to see how a major corporation like Best Buy is doing social media when they don’t think that anyone is watching. Check out the link below. Happy reading!

    http://www.somethingaboutkate.com/2010/10/dear-best-buy-flexi-compras-review-part.html

  7. jasoncormier says:

    Very cool Brian… looking at this makes me think a picture is worth 100,000 words

  8. InsideView says:

    Thanks for the updated prism. I think I'm going to wallpaper my office in this.

  9. BrettGreene says:

    Brian, it's so hard to keep up with the numerous emerging platforms and topics that make up the Conversation Prism. Your posters really help to understand the breadth of the ecosystem and how each aspects of the conversation is a part of something bigger.

  10. Brian since mindmaps work really well for me I love how you have given us visuals to help our brains learn better.

    I want to thank you for sharing your insights so we can be a Mesh It community. That tidbit you gave at the end of our interview this summer is already bearing fruit.

    Looking forward to seeing what other brilliance comes popping from your mind next ;))

  11. Alex says:

    Beautiful..
    This could be hanging at the SF or NY MOMA

  12. Hi Brian, thank you for sharing with us the new version 3.0 of The Conversation Prism. It is a really important tool for anybody who wants to be listened in the Social Media world. I personally have a fashion blog. However I haven’t been engaged into the Social Media tools. With this Prism, I will work on new niche and social networks to increase reach and presence for my blog. Thank you!!

  13. Jean says:

    Wow, this is fascinating! It looks like it can be used as a poster in office, thanks.

  14. Mihaela Lica says:

    Brian, I cannot, literally cannot, help this. Can you please, for the audience, define the metaphorical prism. Never mind that this is a color wheel, just play the game, humor us, go pass the bs and redefine metaphorically the laws of physics, and universe for that matter. 🙂 I know it will make a brilliant post.

    • briansolis says:

      Hello Mihaela, I've actually written about this several times over the years and if you were to see the early concepts for the Conversation Prism, it would make sense. To see it as simply a color wheel takes away from its design and purpose.

      The “prism” is defined figuratively and literally…

      A prism separates white light into a spectrum of colors. The “white light” in this case, is the focused stream of conversations that are often grouped, but not separated by voice, context, source, or outcome. We take this beam and blast it into a spectrum of discernible light…enlightenment…to see, hear, learn and adapt. We quite literally bring conversations to light. Used figuratively, it references the clarification or distortion afforded by a particular viewpoint…for example, “We view conversations across the networks through the prism of our social dashboard.”

      Each shade of color represents an entirely unique reflection of light, meaning separating context and intention by network.

      Originally, we refracted the light of conversations vertically, like so many traditional prism images you see. But, as the social web grew, we shaped the refracted light into a circle to help everyday people understand that the days of one audience, one voice, one story were over. We now had to envision, organize, and understand that conversations take place in communities that we don't yet realize…obviously far beyond Facebook and Twitter.

      Hope this helps!

  15. I don't know the function of these prism.

  16. Awesome. It's so cool to see how the prism has evolved in the last couple of years.

  17. PMcginnis says:

    I've been looking at the new segments, and I wonder what happened to the “Gaming” segment that appeared in V2? I can't exactly see a new segment into which it might have been subsumed, and I certainly believe its a social activity. Care to explain why it went away?

  18. Great tool for studying and understanding the new media and possibilities, you give me a GREAT head start, congratulations for this amazing work!

  19. MikeTheREGuy says:

    I’m listening to the book, However were are the downloads the audio book talks about? Thanks

  20. Bart Waldeck says:

    Brian – do you have the prism in list form (i.e. by conversation category then by channel)? It’s difficult to read what is in each conversation category on the graphic. Thanks.

  21. Folks — Conversation Prism website is not connecting, but it was working last week? What’s happening.  I want to order posters.

  22. Dennis Kruegel says:

    I know I am a bit late (like… one year?), but I just now discovered the conversation prism in a social media webinar. I can tell you, it is not complete yet. Lots of regional social networks are missing. Coming from Germany, I can name you the following social media from Germany: Xing (more members than LinkedIn in Germany), StudiVZ, SchuelerVZ, MeinVZ (these three are usually aggregated as VZ-networks), Lokalisten, Wer-kennt-wen (now the 2nd largest social network in Germany)…just to name the most relevant for Germany.
    In Poland, to my knowledge NaszaKlasa is still larger than Facebook.
    In Russia, vKontakte is still the market leader.
    In Japan and China are huge social networks I have never heard before!

    For version 4.0 you could maybe split each of the prisma elements into english language and foreign language Social Media. Apart of that, great work.

  23. Cornelia Hicks says:

    It will be very interesting to see what light your prism illuminates when you release industry-specific versions. A fascinating view of the way we interact online.

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