SmoothSpan Blog

For Executives, Entrepreneurs, and other Digerati who need to know about SaaS and Web 2.0.

The Conversation is Becoming Diffuse

Posted by Bob Warfield on March 21, 2008

Sarah Perez says the Conversation Has Left the Blogosphere.  I’m not sure if that’s true.  Blogs have comments, but frankly they can be awkward vehicles for having a conversation, particularly if it is back and forth between dueling blogs.  I read her article in a bit different way that is more concerning.  There are now so many vehicles for conversations that she lists no less than 15 ways to keep up. 

Are we really having conversations, or are we just forming small cliques around the trendy fashionable applet du jour?  Twitter, FriendFeed, Social Bookmarking, Disqus, yada, yada, yada.  Get enough vehicles going and there isn’t much conversation.  Everyone is scatterd in small groups.  Everyone is checking a million feeds or searching for the one right aggregator.  And the aggregators don’t help either as they try to create sticky lock-in by not exporting their conversations ala FriendFeed.

Conversation is facilitated by common channels, not a zillion incompatible channels.  If every country had dozens of incompatible cell phone standards, the value of a cellphone would be seriously diminished.  Incompatibility of conversation channels is not just an attention overload problem, it’s much more insidious.

One Response to “The Conversation is Becoming Diffuse”

  1. benkepes said

    Great post Bob, and interesting to see LinkedIn’s move. This really ups the ante and opens the way for LinkedIn to move to new models of service (and hence revenue) within the platform. I responded to your 10 point LinkedIn plan (http://diversity.net.nz/what-linkedin-should-do/2008/03/18/) with the idea that there was the “killer app” waiting in the wings.

    LinkedIn company listings helps that idea come to fruition, I’m hoping (and on a number of levels) that LinkedIn will “get it” and see where the revolution can take place….

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