Normally we'd hear conversations, but now we can also watch them. How? With the growth in social media use, such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, we are able to hold conversations out in the open, for anyone to read or interact. So what used to happen in relative private between a few people is now something that can be available to many others.
There is obviously a good side and a not-so-good side to this. For the paranoid / those who like to control what is said, then this is a very scary notion. Do you know who is saying what about you / your organisation / your product? There are a variety of systems around that search the online conversations and let you know when someone does speak up on your topic (New Stuff for Change Agents for some links to these sites).
On the good side, think just how rapidly information can pass from one person to another. The first photo available from the plane that landed on the Hudson river was posted on Twitter - within minutes of it happening. The online network then spread it about very quickly.
How will you be tapping into social media in 2009 in order to enable the spread of good practice and large scale change?