Social conversations and the social media

If you read “How to Win Friends and Influence People” you see how important it is to take notice of other people, to be positive and to be interested in what they are doing. That can be a challenge for everyone. We all have different priorities so putting other people first is a challenge.

The World Wide Web is a place where we can listen and talk at the same time. We listen to a conversation and then we comment. We can start our own conversation and wait for others to see it and respond. As a result we are both engaging with others and letting others engage with us. There is a bilateral trade which leaves both parties feeling good.

Social media, today a misnomer, was a conversation place. Everyone talked with everyone and everyone became familiar with everyone else. The Global Village that Marshall McLuhan wrote about looked like it would become a reality.

At the time when this reality looked the most feasible was the time before mobile phones and proper data plans. At this time we used computers from a fixed location, either at home, an office, university or other places. With Wifi we had some freedom but nowhere the freedom that smart phones and data plans have provided us with.

That’s why people’s feeling that mobile phones are disconnecting people is such a ridiculous notion. In my vision of the world, in the adoption cycle that I observe the mobile phone is the great connector. We meet people online, we appreciate them, we meet them in person. Seesmic and the early days of twitter were very good tools for this lifestyle.

As data plans included more and more data so it would follow that social media websites would be about individual to individual conversation. It would logically follow that people would feel more at ease conversing online as their friends adopt the technology and have chats. Facebook, twitter and Google Plus should be social web forums where people are interested in the people they follow.

What I see, as data plans and smartphone adoption rises is the opposite. People share links and promote rather than converse. Social media should be rebranded as Ego Media, brand media or advertising media. The platforms that should have made us conversational have been overtaken by advertising.

It’s a good time to continue blogging. It’s a monologue until you contribute a comment. The World Wide Web is a de-centralised conversation tool and we move from platform to platform looking for the places where the personal connections are strongest. As the social media days fade in to history now is the time for each of us to blog, to write about what we feel passionate about.

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