The Conversation Group, The Beginning of the Story

The Conversation GroupThe story of how and why we have come to form The Conversation Group is an epic – a story that is worthy of thousands of words, which I am going to share with you over the weeks ahead. There is the socioeconomic environment; the fertile cultural ground for our perspective; the advent of social media (aka participatory media, aka conversational media); the deep need for this sort of transformation in marketing communications; the disruptive technologies such as Tivo and RSS; and the changing nature of our relationships with each other as individuals, as colleagues and as community participants.

Then of course, there is the story that Ted Shelton, Giovanni Rodriguez, Stephanie Agresta and I need to tell regarding what brings us each here, at this moment in time, to work together towards this shared vision of our partnership. Of equal importance is the story our advisory board members, Chris Brogan, Deborah Schultz, Shel Holtz, Mitch Ratcliffe, David Thorpe, Doc Searls, and David Weinberger have to tell. Finally, there is the story of our kindred spirit and Board Member from the UK, Mark Adams, of Pembridge who previously co-founded Global Technology PR firm Text 100 and the genius of Peter Hirshberg, CMO and Chairman of the Executive Committee for Technorati.

Our story together as The Conversation Group, is the sum of all these parts and so much more. Everyone with their own important perspective on what is going on, everyone with a unique value to contribute to the conversation on conversations, and everyone describing a different aspect of the same proverbial elephant. For me personally, I feel it is the continuation of the Cluetrain Manifesto, those ideals being manifested, yet evolving in fascinating ways, inspired by the widespread use of enabling technologies and an open source ethos of sharing and collaboration.

Throughout each of these many facets of the story, it is very hard to define the underlying nature of the transformation that is underway now – the thing that Doc talks about regarding the ‘greater significance’ that I can talk about easily (not quickly), but struggle to articulate with written words. That which a single phrase can not describe – a story that doesn’t break down well into a 30 second clip, or tagline – a story that we (you and I) are writing together through our exploration of our social media and our connections with each other. It is a “conversation on conversations” and participatory media that is just now beginning in earnest with events like Federated Media’s Conversational Marketing Summit that is taking place today.

The Conversation Group is but one part of this bigger story – my partners and I are striving to work together to make it an important part, but we know we don’t have all the answers. Rather, we have the experience and perspective needed to ask the right questions, that lead to better answers, discovered together, through conversations.

—more to come—

  1. #1 by C.C. Chapman - September 12th, 2007 at 11:17

    A HUGE congratulations. Quite the team you’ve pulled together there and I can’t wait to see what you do. Love the name as well!

  2. #2 by Heath Row - September 12th, 2007 at 17:45

    I’ve been curious what you’re up to these days — looking forward to see how this unfolds.

  3. #3 by Geoff Livingston - September 12th, 2007 at 20:49

    Well done, Chris. I am sure this will be a big, big success.

  4. #4 by Shava Nerad - September 12th, 2007 at 21:25

    lol! You know, Chris, that I gave a talk last week at Ignite Boston 2 on cluetrain marketing in the converging intersection of gaming communities, virtual worlds, and social media.

    And I’m cornering Doc for an interview on that soon as I can corral him (oddly, we ran into each other at Costco last week, just as I was explaining this to Fish, my fiance, so it’s obviously fate).

    And then, for variation, I’m doing a session on cluetrain for the personal brand, relating to pod/vlog/social media promotion.

    Is it in the air?


  5. #5 by Chris Brogan… - September 12th, 2007 at 21:31

    This ought to be interesting. : )

  6. #6 by Giovanni Gallucci - September 13th, 2007 at 01:19

    Well done indeed brother. 🙂

  7. #7 by Chris Heuer - September 13th, 2007 at 16:26

    Thanks CC, Heath, Chris, Geoff, Giovanni – all good friends walking along the path together…

    Shava – thanks for stopping by and letting me know – will look for that presentation on Ignite. I think it is time for the Cluetrain to come back into the conversation again, in earnest, by serious professionals who are working to make a real difference in how companies interact with people – employees, vendors, customers and other stakeholders. The thing is, it has always been conversation that brings people together and breeds true understanding – its so simple that the MBA in many consultants seeks to make it more complicated then it need be.

    Way too many times, smart people I admire said, ‘Chris, it can’t be as simple as conversation, no CMO will every buy that!’ – with pervasive connectivity and a shifting of control, now we’ll see for ourselves how well it is received…

  8. #8 by Jake McKee - September 15th, 2007 at 11:23

    Woo hoo! Congrats! Exciting to see the wraps come off this bad boy.

  9. #9 by Coleman Hutchins - September 16th, 2007 at 23:18

    Best of luck, Chris!

  10. #10 by Mark Balabanian - September 27th, 2007 at 03:10

    Congrats Chris! Very exciting to see you with this team and trajectory. All the best. – Mark

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