Jiva Technology

conversation on the web

Sometimes you come across ideas in the oddest of places. I’ve been reading Theodore Zeldin’s excellent book, ‘An Intimate History of Humanity’ recently. Without going in to details, the author looks at aspects of the human condition in their historical and psychological context. So as an example, in one chapter, he looks at the art of conversation, how it has developed and its pivotal role in the acquisition of knowledge. I’ve never really thought about it, but it would seem that for long periods of history, people didn’t use conversation to find things out at all; quite the contrary, conversations were just a way of furthering your own points of view or flattering the relevant King, Queen or other powerful person in your life. If that sounds like a depressingly familiar concept, it made me realize that in the context of the internet, we have a similar distinction. Tools like Twitter and Facebook Status Updates are an excellent way to propagate your own views and flatter the relevant celebrity/organization/person in power, but a poor way to conduct a real conversation. Tools that allow a genuine dialogue to take place, ideas to be developed and knowledge to be acquired seem to be much thinner on the ground. So perhaps the time really has come for tools like Google Buzz and Jiva Tech’s Tutorhub. We’ll see.


Regus House
1 Friary

Temple Quay
United Kingdom