The oldest and, some would argue, the most effective way of gaining awareness. It is simply when someone finds out about something—a product, an event, a service, a place, a work—through someone else. Word of mouth is an effective method of marketing since the recommendations are coming from someone familiar—possibly who has had good experiences—and therefore gain a greater element of trust. The origins of the phrase are certainly direct and verbal (hence the title), but nowadays word of mouth can also include e-mail, chat lines, text messages, as well as social media sites and the telephone. The Internet itself has been described as a ‘continuous conversation’. See also permission marketing; viral marketing; web 2.0.