How Active are Our Conversations?

by Jay Deragon on 01/22/2008

How Active is the Conversational Web?There are those that discount the shifts created by the social web as hype and or temporary fads fueled by the youths attraction to MySpace.

Whatever the opinion one cannot ignore the data and its potential meaning nor can one ignore the accelerated rate of technological advancements.

Conversations create activity that fuels “hits” in a network of human interaction. The level of activity create an attraction of topics, issues, interaction and subsequently an influence over media, the news and ultimately markets.

“The Human Network” is and has been a reality that cannot be ignored. People connecting with people has been and will always be a dynamic of force that has power to change markets, world events, history, business, religion, politics and economics to name just a few.

To ignore the data and the underlying dynamics is the denial of realities that are shaping and changing our world. Relationships have been the basis of human progress since the beginning of mankind. Starting with conversations around a community fire then accelerated and fueled by technological advances, (telegraph, telephone, internet), these collective exchanges and their subsequent influence is the foundation of our economy. Now we have tools that accelerate conversations.

How Active are Today’s Conversational Tools?

Jerry Weinstein writes in Web analytics company Compete charted the top online winners and losers of 2007 in terms of sheer growth.”

“LinkedIn shot up 1048%; TechCrunch (are you sitting?) 3240%. News filtering Web sites Reddit and Stumbleupon grew at 1033% and 777%, respectively. While ClubMom took off like a shot — 2320% growth — the social network space is an exclusive club. It continues to to grow like gangbusters, but the marketshare is concentrated in only a handful of movers.”

“Last week there were a flurry of reports and white papers commingling with press releases trumpeting the dominance of either MySpace or Facebook. Hitwise proclaimed MySpace Lord and Master of the realm, but TechCrunch was quick to note that Facebook had made some spectacular gains globally, causing an effusive Silicon Alley Insider to add, “Facebook is coming up behind MySpace like a Ferrari about to blow a bus.”

“Online video is another runaway train with Google’s YouTube owning 31% of the space, as MySpace retreats from a marketshare of 8% to 4%. (Sidebar: Advertising revenue from streaming video jumped 38% to $1.37B.)”

“Search actually sees some unpredictable trends: Google and Yahoo! have both lost ground to MSN Search, while a recent USC Center for the Digital Future study found that only 51% of people (trending down from 61%) currently believe that “most or all of the information produced by search engines is reliable and accurate .”

What Are We Searching for?

The top ten searches, according to Google Search Trends, show 80% of searches are people related. We have an insatiable desire to learn about people, to connect with people and to follow where people go and what they do. The social web has empowered us to interact like never before and what people are discovering is a new power of influence and reach that fuels conversations. The attraction of influence, of relationships and the ability to self express without constraints fills a basic human need that has been suppressed for decades.

The wisdom of the past was founded on “seek and you shall find, ask and you shall receive, express and you shall be heard“. It may just be that this old wisdom is being discovered as real, true and now it is on steroids provided by the social web.

What say you?

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