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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Age of Conversation: The Conversation Age Enabled

Perhaps you've heard about The Age of Conversation? It's a marvelous project, bringing together bloggers and writers from around the world to benefit Variety, the Children's Charity.

The first Age of Conversation was published in 2007: 103 bloggers from 24 states and 10 countries participated.

Age of Conversation 2: why don't they get it? was published in 2008. 237 bloggers from around the world contributed. It has just recently become available on Amazon as I explain in Age of Conversation 2 - Why Don't They Get It? on Amazon!

The first Age of Conversation is still available for purchase on Amazon, and definitely worth acquiring. You see, it's full of wisdom and insight.

Don't believe me? Then check out my Age of Conversations "slices." It's a summary of all 103 chapters organized into categories...

Or, read my chapter - The Conversation Age Enabled - in its entirety.

The Conversation Age Enabled

Imagine being deaf, dumb, blind – like Helen Keller – caught in your own world with no way out, perhaps filled with brilliant discussion, conversation, and brainstorms, but only with yourself. As enlightened and clever as you may be, you stagnate for lack of newness. Your world is a closed loop, a closed system.

Then, imagine an ‘enabler’ entering your world. For Helen Keller, it was connecting water [a physical object] with language [an abstraction] – language consisting of words, sentences, context…. Language allowed her to take part in the world of senses, despite her handicaps. It compensated for them and became a path to new concepts and ideas, to communication and creating value. Language transformed Helen Keller and her life experience.

Similarly, an enabler has entered our world: Web 2.0 and social media.

Where we were once isolated in a mostly bland, slow-moving world, we now enter a richly alive environment where information flows like water out of a faucet – Google it, Mapquest it, YouTube it or check it out on Wikipedia. Answers are readily available. Books – once static entities – have become entry points for ongoing discussions with authors. Corporations – once cold, faceless entities – can now express personality and demonstrate commitment based on input from its community! Tremendous enthusiasm or passion for a topic no longer signifies eccentricity. Rather it signals engagement and enriches conversation, transforming the experience, adding dimension and relevance.

We no longer have to face the world alone. Advice, success stories, best practices are readily available through blogs, discussion groups, book clubs and online forums. We have but to ask and acknowledge interest.

Access to information, once the domain of a select few, has been democratized. Anyone with curiosity, with the desire to develop better ideas or solutions for solving philosophical quandaries, branding dilemmas, or business strategy fiascos can take part. Ideas – through online discussion – can be combined, perspectives from around the globe added, multiple disciplines taken into consideration and everyone’s opinion as it relates to the human experience intertwined!

As dizzying to the non-initiate, the choices available in the Conversation Age enable a true conversation, with information flowing in both directions. Envision responsibility, authenticity, accountability and integrity as the current.

As with water flowing out of a faucet, just a sip refreshes and revitalizes. Immerse your whole being and realize for yourself how welcoming and conducive to brilliance it is. Realize, too, how quickly you adapt to it. It truly represents a conversation enabler for all.

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