I often ask during my Knowledge Cafe's if people think that it is possible to have online conversations or are they really just an exchange of messages. Is face to face conversation so different from online conversations that is warrants being given a different name?
Usually only a handful of people see any real difference and many get quite passionate about the fact that they can have great conversations with people online or by email and even texting.
I am not so sure. To me face to face conversation is so different to computer mediated conversation that I always say that "real conversation" can only take place face to face.
Yes, am aware I am playing with the definition and accepted use of words here. Conversation is always going to be the everyday term for conversation however mediated.
As part of the resources I am pulling together for a future book on conversation I have bookmarked this blog post from Chris Rodgers whether he says that Theres no such thing as on-line conversation that "Conversation is an ongoing, 'real-time' exchange" and that "Conversations are spontaneous and emergent, not planned and structured".
I could not agree more.
And, oh yes, when people ask me if you can run Knowledge Cafes online. I say "Yes, but it is so different you can no longer call it a Knowledge Cafe!"
If you are interested in Knowledge Management, the Knowledge Café or the role of conversation in organizational life then you my be interested in this online book I am writing on Conversational Leadership