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Posts Tagged ‘conversation prism’

In my post, The Making of a Relevant Blog Entry, I included some tips on how we can make blog entries that contribute to each of our own communities. That way, we can all use blogging as a business tool  instead of just plain diary-like entries and ranting. At the very end of that entry, I posed a question that allows us to take on another perspective:

How do corporations make sense of the millions of blogs that are available in the internet?

Of the billions of people in the world, and even the huge chunk of it that are internet users, very few people really realize the complexity of world wide web. Not that we should view it as complex, but many (even business people) are ignorant of many of the different smaller worlds existing in it. It has been downplayed to a plain source of recreation–which is still true of course. But as business people, we should look at it beyond the communities we leisurely participate in and start to look into other communities which can be relevant to our businesses. And speaking of these communities, I never realized how many they are and how wide the world wide web is until this was shown to us:

The Conversation Prism

The Conversation Prism

After getting over the initial shock of being presented with so many communities in which conversations take place, I got on to looking at those I’m personally part of. I have attempted to list down all my personal internet accounts and have found that I have just a little over ten accounts (not including forums I subscribed to just to be able to download an elusive product for ONE time).

Belle's Internet Accounts

If I limit myself to MY community for the product or services of the company I’m working for, I may be completely ignoring the communities of MY STAKEHOLDERS. But there may be just too much of these communities. Therefore, ONLY THE RELEVANT communities should be identified and targeted, not just the most popular ones.  The most important thing is to understand stakeholder behavior and in which communities they converse. The Conversation Prism is a tool to map those communities. That would narrow down the list, but it would still be long. At that point, the next thing to do is to PRIORITIZE them.

Listening In

After identifying the relevant communities and prioritizing them, what then? The answer is to listen to the conversations of its participants (thus, the name ‘Conversation Prism’, because conversations take place in these internet communities). People talk of different things all the time and at one point, they may have posted their opinion or inquiry about a brand you’re handling. I personally have had 2 posts on all the energy drinks I’ve tried; identifying the good points and bad points  I found and eventually giving a rating. The information found in that post may give a detailed opinion on a brand in comparison to its competition.

There are several ways in which that potentially useful post may be found and listened into by a person who could be handling one of the brands I’ve mentioned:

  • Technorati. This may be used to search for various media by tag or keyword. Since I’ve tagged that post with all the brand names of the energy drinks, a simple search in this site may list that post and several other related posts from many communities.
  • Technorati
  • Google Alerts. Google can send email updates of the search results of any topic or term. Since we can trust Google to dig the depths of the internet for all kinds of stuff, it’s really convenient to have all that information accessible through your email – which you check very often, of course.
  • Google Alerts
  • RSSRSS Feeds. Let’s say you’ve found great conversations to listen to and you want to stay in touch. This is a great way to do so. RSS Feeds are updates on the activity on a certain web page which can be accessed through your browser’s built in RSS mechanism or an RSS Feed Reader. If you’ve subscribed to a page, every time there is a new comment or an update, it will be seen in the reader.
  • Dashboards. As visiting every single site I’ve mentioned above would take a long time and desktop space, there is a tool that would make that easier. Dashboards help you see a lot of information from different sites and applications all at once in one very user-friendly and customizable interface. I personally prefer the dashboard format to that of RSS feeds but that’s a matter of opinion. A great example for this is Netvibes which has been tried and tested by my professor and classmates.

netvibes

As we continue to advance in technology and in the use of the internet there may be better and more convenient tools that can be used. At this point, we can give each one a chance and go with what works best for us. 🙂

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