BEDA #2: The 5 Avenues of Online Conversations

As the title of my upcoming book is The Greatest Blogger in the World I have started to be asked questions like, ‘Do you think you’re the greatest blogger in the world?’ and ‘What’s it like having a blog and talking online?’ Firstly, I am not, will never be, don’t want to be, can’t think of anything worse than being known as the greatest blogger in the world. So, no. And secondly, at the risk of talking about talking and never saying anything new or real I’d like to talk about talking. They say that there are five levels of conversation:

1. The Weather.

“It’s starting to look like rain”.

2. A topic.

“I catch rain in my water tank.”

“Water tanks are cool.”

“Yeah, way cool.”

3. Energetic conversations.

“I can’t believe our fathers both sold water tanks back in the 60s!”

“Life was pretty strange with a water tank salesman for a dad!”

“Tell about it.”

“Hahaha.”

4. Meaningful

“So I just don’t know anymore if my father loved me then or loves me now.”

“All because of the tanks?”

5. Meaning of life-ful

“Yeah, all because of the tanks. Is this how life is supposed to be? I feel like I’m doing it all wrong. Or maybe Dad did it all wrong.”

“I think it all depends on how you look at it. Is the water tank of your life half-full or half-empty?”

As more and more online social networking sites are used (and more and more articles called ‘So What Is This Twitter Thing Anyway?’ get published in weekend newspapers) etiquettes and ‘appropriate behaviours’ for these sites become more evident. For example, it’s not really cool to post something like ‘Andrew just got dumped and is very sad. I hate you Rebecca!’ on Facebook or Twitter. These sites are for flippancy, photos and general news and info. However this is not to say that all types of conversations cannot happen online (I lose 2 writing points here for my double negative). Which brings me to my Five Avenues of Online Conversations:

1. The weather

The weather and related small talk can happen pretty much anywhere online. Although boring conversations may raise ires if you’re IM-ing.

2. A topic

Perfect for bookmarking – Digg, delicious, etc as well as the Twitterbook.

3. Energetic conversations.

You could do these on Facebook or Twitter but people are going to get annoyed at seeing a conversation going back and forth between you and your friend. You’ll call it energetic, they’ll call it inane. Email or Direct Message it the way to do Level 3. Also, blogging.

4. Meaningful

Email or Direct Message, but really IM is the best course for this. And any insightful blogging.

5. Meaning of life-ful

IM. It’s the only way to ‘talk deep’ online.

My lists and rantings are, in themselves, flippant and not to be taken too seriously. The only real important thing to say is that any type of conversation can take place online. Talking online is not a sixth, different level of conversing. Unless you think that sharing links to silly things is a superior level of communication that can ONLY take place online and is therefore a sixth (and quite beautiful) level of communication in itself.

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