Back and Forth

The Emergence of Social Technology

IT TAKES AT LEAST TWO people to sustain a conversation. More to the point, both of them (or all of them) must take part in sustaining it. If one party monopolizes the conversation, then it’s not really a conversation. That’s obviously true of a person-to-person chat of the low-tech or no-tech variety. But it’s equally true of organizational conversation—even, and perhaps especially, when an organization deploys sophisticated technology to extend that conversation through the ranks of a large employee base, or across great distances. Too easily, the media that a company uses to achieve scale and efficiency in its communication can devolve into one-way channels that accommodate only ...

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