Mapping Web 2.0 relationships

Although the term ‘Web 2.0‘ seems to have gone off the boil in recent months, you can’t miss seeing mention of start-ups and other companies with that tech moniker attached.

Take a look at this collection by Ludwig Gatzke (click the image for a fuller view). It’s not the only such collection, either – here’s more.

Many of these companies’ logos are widely recognized as they’re regarded as the early pioneers in this evolving space. Others are very new, and it’s sometimes hard to figure out what a company does purely from seeing its logo.

These are all great – and provide good visual fodder for countless PowerPoint presentations – yet not so great if you want to do more than simply show some company logos and say “This is what Web 2.0 looks like.”

What if you want to focus on communication not the technology and map some companies to how people connect and build relationships with other people? Which companies are in what areas – social bookmarking, social networks, micro-blogging, conversational video, etc?

I’ve often created my own visual maps which I use as a focal point for discussion in workshops and meetings. Yet these are not wholly satisfactory as I sometimes include companies I’ve not heard of, which are usually the ones people want to ask about.

Now there’s this new visual guide to Web 2.0 companies from Brian Solis, presented in a way that’s focused on relationships between people, indicating which companies are active in what areas (click the image for a larger version):

Brian calls this ‘The Conversation Prism,’ an apt descriptor for something that is about communication and the tools people can use to facilitate relationship-building, explaining:

[…] Remember, participating in Social Media is more meaningful when you have a deeper understanding of anthropology and sociology and not just the social tools that facilitate interaction. This is about creating and cultivating relationships with people, online and in the real world, and these relationships are defined by mutual value and benefits.

And here’s the final take-away:

In the social economy, relationships are the new currency.

Couldn’t have expressed it better myself.

Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

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