In The Art and Science of Conversation, I name two distinctive features of conversation. Conversations happen where people pay attention and new ideas emerge from a meeting of minds.

How We Converse

What is a Conversation? Is it possible to converse with the dead? What is the difference between jamming with Duke Ellington and jamming with a recording of Duke Ellington?

This is only one type of conversation, in Types of Conversation, I introduce two others:

Four Types of Conversation

A Taxonomy of Conversations introduces four types of conversation:

  1. Downloading – analogous to downloading a file from a server, this type of conversation is where views supporting your own are heard and the rest ignored.
  2. Debating – where a lot might seem to be happening but ultimately the debate leaves both sides unchanged because they hear only what supports their own argument.
  3. Reflection – invites the listener to try on a new way of thinking. The invitation may be to take action and to reflect upon the results.
  4. Generative Dialogue – is where insights come from outside of the conversation, and not from one of the participants. This results in a new way of seeing the familiar, often because something previously ignored becomes relevant for the first time.  This results in mutual discovery of new insights.

Conversations in Marketing

Conversations in the Marketplace aim to sell three things online:

  1. Products – wherein I ask what it means to sell and look at the advantages of selling products and what we mean by a fair price.
  2. Services – are one-off activities usually designed with the client, which means they tend to be more time-consuming and so more expensive.
  3. Causes – whilst a cause usually requires a response other than a purchase, the distinction is not always so clear-cut.

Conversations Online

This final collection of posts takes a closer look at online technologies and evaluates their contributions to conversations:

  1. Websites – can be a place where conversations happen but too often they fail because there is no sense of what the owner is trying to do through the site.
  2. Blogs – are one of the best tools for online conversations. This post lists some advantages and some of the things you need to think about when using blogs.
  3. Emails – have certain advantages and can be used in several ways. There are advantages and disadvantages.
  4. Video and Audio – can encourage conversations through their content and through their context on your website.
  5. Social Media – can be very effective but to grow your following you need to use it with your website.
  6. Skype, Hangouts, etc – can be media closest to real-life conversations and they’re effectively free for conversations connecting all over the world.