A new golden age of conversation?

"Conversation may be compared to a lyre with seven chords - philosophy, art, poetry, love, scandal, and the weather."

-- Anna Brownell Jameson

Rather than stifling and isolating us in bubbles, technology is paving the way to a bright new era marked by the free flow of ideas and opinions and open debate and discussion. Everyone can have a seat at the table and will have a chance to have their voice heard.

In a thoughtful review of the art of conversation, the Economist noted two žgolden agesÓ for conversation. Athens of Socrates and Plato in the 5th and 4th centuries BC was the likely home of the first golden age. The second golden age of conversation emerged much later among the French elites in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, where "the conversation of the French salons and dinner tables became as stylized as a ballet."


Now as we embark into a new world, not defined by boundaries of class or intellectual prowess but simply by access to a Web browser, are we heading into a new golden era? Will the conversations soar? Will they open new vistas of experience and insight? Or will they simply become a bore and fade away?

Some might argue that we are losing the art of conversation; instead, it seems that conversation is changing into a new form, taking on new and still emerging dimensions. To be effective we have to embrace it, find the good in it, and learn the new disciplines that are part of it.

For us in the business of building brands, understanding how social media supports the human desire for conversation enables us to open up vibrant interactions with individuals and communities. The way brands are built and products and services are bought and sold has changed from you selling me something to a conversation about my needs and how they can be better met.

The conversation will grow in importance and become the most effective way to build a brand in any industry or segment. Let chat about it. Please join us in discourse on our Brand Trust Visions blog. We look forward to the conversation with great anticipation.

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Say what you want about social media, but I firmly believe that it's here to stay and it's changing the way the world works.

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