"Conversation" overused?

I’ve hearing a lot of industry insiders talking about how the word “conversation” is being overused and we need to move on. [1] [2] [3] While I think that it’s probably being used a bit too broadly, I think we’re far far from it being “overused”. Hell, we’re just creating a new meme by asking if something overused is, in fact, overused.

Certainly within our circles we’re hearing it too much. But we tend to forget that just outside the bounds of our community, conversation is only just starting to be paid attention to. We see this for just about every new trend – Valley and industry wonks coin something, then get tired of it, then some time later the rest of the world starts to learn about this.

Is “conversation” overused? Yeah, probably so. But mostly by those of us who applied the term in the first place. The rest of the world is still learning about Web 2.0 and we’re already wondering how to stop talking about Web 3.0…

On a related note: last week I was meeting with two marketing folks who were both new to the social media/community interaction stuff. We were talking about the differences between building strategy for the mass market vs. building strategy for smaller groups. I used the idea of a communication plan vs. a conversation plan. It made sense to them and they quickly understood.