The Conversation Prism, an exhaustive encyclopedia of all the various sites offering online dialogue, has just been released in an updated version for 2010.
Media guru Brian Solis and creative agency JESS3 produced the first conversation prism in 2008. Since then, the landscape of online interactions has shifted dramatically. Ergo, the newest version has no less than 28 different types of conversation species you can have online, ranging from virtual worlds to custom social networks to "social commerce" (such as Groupon). (Previously, there were 22 different species, but these were vastly more simple and less nuanced than the ones now.)
Here's the full chart:
While many of these businesses share a category on the chart, they earn money and reach their audiences in dramatically different ways. So the real lesson here is not that there are 28 types of conversation types, but rather the number of variations within each type, such as how Foursquare, Gowalla, and Loopt differ from each other. If you're an entrepreneur, the value is staring you right in the face: Is there a better business to be had by mixing and matching features from the competitive set?
To purchase a print of the Conversation Prism for $20, go here.