Today’s conversations: niche upon niche

Conversation Prism V.3.0

Click on image for a larger view

The social media panorama, as visualised by the Conversation Prism, received its third annual update last week adding three new categories – social curation, niche working and social commerce.

The social curation grouping features sites and applications like the personalised social magazines and Flipboard.

The Flipboard iPad application certainly look impressive, but the popularity of on Twitter keep growing as institutions and even individuals launch their own ‘magazines’.

The second new category – nicheworking – refers to companies like Yammer that allow you to set up a private internal social network just for your company.

Finally, social commerce is the most self-explanatory of the new areas and is exemplified on the Conversation Prism by Groupon, which offers regular money saving coupons.

If location-based services such as Facebook Places move beyond early adaptors to capture the public imagination, then it’s social commerce – with its promise of actual revenue, rather than mere utility or fun – that will be the winner of this crop of new(ish) sites.

Search, Listen, and Learn*

The Conversation Prism was put together by Brian Solis and JESS3 to organise the ‘social web’.

One of their reasons for producing it was to counter the perception that to participate in social media means engaging everywhere. They hoped to achieve this by defining the different kinds of conversations across a diverse range of sites (and therefore allowing people to pinpoint which types of conversations would be most beneficial to them).

You can see the visualisation in full, and read more on the changes it’s undergone, at

*One of Solis’ goals for the Conversation Prism was ‘search, listen, and learn’ [from the social web]. It’s a worthy goal that bears repeating many times before you approach ‘broadcasting’.


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