The Conversation Prism: The Social Media Landscape in a Pretty, Colorful Nutshell

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Back in 2008, Altimeter Group principal analyst and author Brian Solis teamed up with Jesse Thomas of visual design agency JESS3 to create The Conversation Prism to serve as a helpful map of the social media landscape. Version 4.0 of The Conversation Prism has been unveiled, and it’s more expansive than ever.

Conversation Prism 4.0
Click on the image to see a full-blown version.

Before your eyes glaze over, focus on the center of the “prism” and work outward from there based on your intention and context.

This version of The Conversation Prism excludes 122 services from version 3.0 (which was created in 2010) and adds 111 services. The added categories are Social Marketplace, Enterprise, Influence, Quantified Self and Service Networking.

“The Conversation Prism was and is a template for developing a social media strategy,” Solis writes in a blog post. “Of course its design and purpose evolved over the years. But what continues today is that it is a social map where you plot your course to engage customers and influencers in the networks of relevance.”

This visual map should offer a helpful overview of the ever-growing world of social media for just about anyone in a company, from HR to marketing to sales. It also serves as a clarion reminder that “social media” goes far, far beyond Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn.


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