Competing for Our Conversations?

by Jay Deragon on 02/22/2009

We are all being overwhelmed with an abundance of value propositions in which we need to decide how and what to use in “our network” to meet personal and professional aims.

A day doesn’t go by without the announcement of yet another network, another tool and it seems we’re chasing after that which steals our attention most. Attracted to the newest and most popular we shift our conversations to the “new platforms” and ” new aggregators of conversations” only to be distracted to do it all over again. The cycle time of “conversational shifting” is fragmenting our time, value and attention.

The Old Media Wants our Conversations

Look at the landscape of technology and content. The big print and broadcast media are vying to capture our attention and our conversations in their latest and greatest “social proposition”.

In an article in Paid Content titled Former AOL Exec Dvorkin Starts News Aggregator Backed By Forbes, Velocity which says “The idea behind the site is to create a news network around individual journalists, authors, bloggers, documentary filmmakers—in general, anyone with distinct credibility as a “knowledgeable expert,” as opposed to citizen journalists that are curated by sites like NowPublic, Dvorkin says. Although it’s being backed by Forbes Media, Public Post’s site will be independent and not tied directly to any other content company, Dvorkin adds.” Will this be yet another community aimed at attracting our conversations, our time and our attention?

Our conversations are representations of commerce. Commerce follows value and value is created from knowledge. Where ever you find conversations that add value you find an attraction that lifts all readers. Communities that attract the most readers are communities where the crowds are learning the most. When knowledge is shared it represents an exchange of value and where value is exchanged between participants knowledge expands rapidly.

We, the Media, Want More Value

In an article by Brian Solis titled The Centrailization of the Decentrialization of Me he writes: “The truth is that we are embracing new tools because they’re are either intriguing and fascinating to us and/or because those within our social graph are also adopting them to stay connected and participate in online conversations.”

“We are responsible for the decentralization of our content and our attention.”

“I participate in the communities where I find value and where I can in turn contribute to the value. It is distributed. It is decentralized. However, it is this way because each community sustains its own unique culture, a culture that is only partially represented through the latest crop of aggregators and activity hubs such as FriendFeed, SocialThing and”

Today value is being fragmented by competition for our time and attention. Today we follow the leading conversationalist through sites like Friendfeed, AllTop, MyBlogLog and the dozens of communities they participate in. Today the subject matters being discussed are centric to the emerging social landscape and the related elements that appear to have potential for value. However the real value opportunity for individuals and institutions has yet to appear.

We need to forget what we’ve been using and think “how” to adapt to the convergence of means which enables us to maximize value. We need to ReThink our methods and ReShape the means so we can individually and collectively capture the most value.

Stay tuned for ideas on “how”. There has to be a better way to exchange value.

What Say You?


dan February 23, 2009 at 6:38 pm

Great article Jay. I go with Stephan’s comment above; I was watching the nightly news yesterday and the anchorman was goofing about this silly new thing called “tweeter” where people send “twits”. I was shocked.

StarGazon February 22, 2009 at 6:06 am

Competing for Our Conversations? /The Relationship Economy……/ – We need to forget what we’ve been using …

StarGazon February 22, 2009 at 6:06 am

Competing for Our Conversations? /The Relationship Economy……/ – We need to forget what we’ve been using …

JDeragon February 22, 2009 at 6:05 am

Competing for Our Conversations?: We need to forget what we’ve been using and think “how” to adapt to the conver..

prblogs February 22, 2009 at 5:48 am

RelationshipEcon: Competing for Our Conversations?: We need to forget what we’ve been using and..

Michael Sean Wright August 12, 2008 at 5:15 pm

Well thought out article Jay. Are we putting out more information than the previous few years or are we learning how to aggregate/ assimilate better? I hope both.

Stephan Miller August 12, 2008 at 9:21 am

There are lot of people out there not involved in these conversations. I was thinking that as I have been investigating Google Trends over the last week or so. Every once and a while, a story pops ups that fits search trends but not as often as I would assume.
There is still a huge divide between the early adopters who are out there trying everything and whose idea of a hot story is that Twitter now has a 2000 person following limit.
Just because you make a lot of noise doesn’t make you the norm. I run an ecommerce site for a guy who has to ask me every couple of weeks what a blog is. Most of our customers probably don’t know either. There are a lot of voices that have not been heard. When do they start speaking and where?

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