Paul Hartzog at Many-to-Many writes about The Power of Conversation
“I don’t read anymore; I just talk to people who have.” — Dr. Tom Malloy, University of Utah
So, the real value of communicative technologies ... is that they re-enable and enhance our ability to use a time-tested means of information processing, i.e. the conversation, in new and interesting ways!
Denham Grey highlights the same piece in Conversation Power, though I saw his comments first.
Often wonder at the relative merits of conversation vs. connection - If I'm connecting, I'm not conversing most times. Clearly there is a rhythm and trade-off between establishing and maintaining weak links, reading, personal learning and engaging in dialog. Knowledge creation and exchange requires a deeper dialog than the social banter needed to build social capital, it needs the energy of creative abrasion and the engagement of reciprocity to change deep level assumptions and unarticulated mental models.
I like the interplay of these two pieces. Conversation is such an important aspect of knowledge transfer and idea growth, but those of us who focus on "knowledge management" tend to talk more about technologies or management principles. Hartzog focuses on the amazing power of social interchange of an idea, and Grey highlights the difference between active participation in that deeper conversation and in making connections to enable future deep conversations.