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The Conversation Economy As I See It

When paradigms collide.

Still trying to parse the myriad of concepts thrown out at the DJ Spooky lecture ( and inspired by the great diagrams of David Armano) I started to scribble. I was trying to tie together the thoughts Paul presented with some of the stuff I’ve been reading about the “Conversation Economy”. The following diagram is what I came up with along with the help of the rest of Paragon and our friendly neighborhood futurist Frank Spencer.


Under the Monologue Advertising paradigm

  • Advertisers set the tone and control the perception of their brand.
  • Advertisers don’t need to be too engaged with consumers until there’s a crisis like a product recall or PR fiasco.
  • There’s very little feedback from the consumers apart from satisfaction surveys, focus groups, maybe even a complaint letter here and there.

Conversation Advertising paradigm

  • Advertisers set the tone, but are held accountable to their brand promises.With social media platforms + “sampling” tools the consumers have a louder voice. Smart advertisers listen and respond by adjusting business practices or services, while those who refuse to listen suffer the consequences at the hands of the Consumer DJs (e.g. this video created to comment on Sony’s brand decay that I found on David Airey’s blog)
  • Smart Product Creators use the conversation to institute new more relevant products.
  • Propaganda is less likely since there’s more self-regulated accountability. (e.g. Thieves are quickly outed, and ugliness, although unavoidable, is heavily frowned upon.)

I’m interested in hearing what other people think about this phenomenon, or if the diagram’s missing something.

Andrew Davies

Drew's degrees in Illustration, 2D animation and Broadcast Design, and his volleyball skillz mean he can get your design done and play well with others at the same time. He’s the Creative Director at Paragon and will call you out if you start hanging out with shady-looking fonts and messing around with whacked-out color palettes.


4 thoughts on “The Conversation Economy As I See It

  1. David Armano says:

    Adie from being visually arresting—what I like about the illustration that it shows a more organic and less linear type of cycle when compared to traditional messaging and communication (monologue).

    Well done.

  2. Drew says:

    Thanks for the feedback David.

  3. Drew, Just to note that the communication goes both ways, since social networks have comment capabilities, like the one I am using now… which by the way, I found your article through David’s blog.

    Good job Drew.

  4. Drew says:

    Hey Marcelo,
    Yeah, I originally had arrows on the conversation diagram but, as you said, the beauty of this paradigm is that the communication isn’t one-sided so I left arrows off and just had connecting lines.
    Thanks for the feedback.

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