Studying the impact of innovation on business and society

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…


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
Social Commerce

Version 3.0 is hosted at 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


Connect with Brian Solis on Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Facebook
If you’re looking for a way to FIND answers in social media, consider Engage!: It can help

Get Putting the Public Back in Public Relations and The Conversation Prism:

Image Source: Shutterstock

322 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Introducing The Conversation Prism Version 3.0”

  1. jasoncormier says:

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

  2. InsideView says:

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

  3. 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.

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