After almost two-and-half years, it is with great pleasure that I officially unveil the fourth edition of The Conversation Prism. Viewed and downloaded millions of times over, The Conversation Prism in its various stages has captures snapshot of important moments in the history and evolution of Social Media.
For those unfamiliar with The Conversation Prism, it is an evolving infographic that captures the state of social media, organized by how important social networks are used by professional and everyday consumers. It was created to serve as a visual tool for brands to consider unforeseen opportunities through a holistic lens. Over the years, it has served as a business tool as well as art decorating the walls and screens of offices, conference halls, and also homes.
With research beginning in 2007, the original Conversation Prism debuted in 2008 as a visual map of the social media landscape. Years and four iterations later, it remains an ongoing study in digital ethnography that tracks dominant and promising social networks and organizes them by how they’re used in everyday life.
It is provided as a free download in many sizes and shapes here.
Why is The Conversation Prism More Than a Pretty Infographic?
The Conversation Prism is important because it is the ONLY research-driven map that explores the evolution of the social web dating back to the rise of social media.
It is a combination of research and digital ethnography. It groups networks by how people use them. It includes both leading and promising networks. It’s not intended to show every network, but instead how the shape of the social web is changing and who the front runners are pushing social media in new directions.
The Conversation Prism was designed to help strategists see the bigger picture in the evolution of social media beyond the most popular and trendy sites. It is intended to help in a number of ways…
1. As a form of validation to show executives that social media is not a fad and that it’s bigger than Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Pinterest.
2. To motivate teams to find new ways to think about social media and explore new ways to improve experiences and relationships.
3. Provide a top-level view to help strategists study the landscape as they plan their next social media strategy.
History: When were the previous versions released?
1.0 = August 2008 (pictured above)
2.0 = March 2009
3.0 = October 2010
4.0 = July 2013
What’s new with Version 4.0?
Version 4.0 is the latest update in the two-and-half years since 3.0 (pictured above) was introduced in 2010. It also features an entirely new design.
Version 4.0 brings about some of the most significant changes since the beginning. In this round, we moved away from the flower-like motif to simplify and focus the landscape.
With all of the changes in social media, it would have been easier to expand the lens. Instead, we narrowed the view to focus on those that are on a path to mainstream understanding or acceptance.
The result was the removal of 122 services while only adding 113. This introduces an opportunity for a series of industry or vertical-specific Prisms to be introduced.