Conversation Agent - Valeria Maltoni - You Need to Get Out More

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@Diego - there is no box, yet there needs to be constraints at the same time or we float aimlessly without ever getting to a point. Which is fine for contemplative life, less so to make a living. The process and structure people have won, but only momentarily. The pendulum will swing back to a more creative place, eventually.

@Amber - companies and people within them. do not know how to be saved, so they cling onto the safe thing. When I talk about the new filed of conversation, I think of myself as facilitator, ambassador and advocate all rolled into one. It's extremely hard to balance them all - change is emotional and people don't do emotion well (or predictably).

@Jon - I especially like your suggestion to "stop doing". I would add, start thinking more. Being contemplative is pursuit rich with insights. We are immersed in such a veneer culture, where thoughts are as deep as needed for a transaction. People often ask me what I miss most about Europe - it's that, the ability to get to really know someone using thought as the social object. Most of the time, we're all going so fast, that it does not matter. Sometimes the absence of it, that void, is felt acutely.

@Robyn - I guess you can tell I'm a Liberal Arts major, then. I do believe in connecting knowledge and experiences, going deep but also going wide. Exploring, learning, trying ideas out, or just letting them decant, so to speak, in your mind. Now I feel nostalgic of the University days, life was much simpler then.

I guess my typical clients are “them” that you are talking about. Large companies that are not in the social media space, quite the contrary (they are in insurance, energy, logistics, etc.), that never heard of twitter or friendfeed, and that hide behind thick corporate firewalls...

It often strikes me that the active social media community is so egotist/inward looking. We tend to forget that it's only a small fraction of the digital community that has embraced social media... One could argue that this community counts millions already; I would argue that today it represents less than a fraction of 1% of world population! (see also

When I spend too much time in front of my laptop, I tend to forget them, the other world, and I become twitter-centric. So when I spend the day with them (today = French project managers in a worldwide logistics company; they have email and that's about it), it is both humbling and refreshing. I can bring “them” a lot because as a consultant AND an outsider I both broaden and challenge their views. But they bring me a lot because they keep me from dreaming away. The world becomes very real, very physical again.

The point is, wherever we come from, we must be open to the other, open to the outside world. Adopting the client's perspective; something we've always said but we may tend to forget. Certainly we should avoid conceit or elitism.

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  • Since 2006, Conversation Agent focuses on business, technology, digital culture, and human behavior. At Conversation Agent LLC, I help organizations and brands that want to build better experiences tell a new story.


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