Wednesday, November 18, 2015

MediaTech: Social Media and Web 2.0: Diffusion and Innovations (W13-P1) Fa15

Previously we have noted that when a person or a society adopts an innovations, there are consequences. What are some consequences of adopting social media based on recent research?

Now, let's shift gears, but stay with diffusion of innovations and social media.  The adoption of social media has greatly increased in the past decade or so.  People have adopted social media more quickly than any other past media technology (radio, TV, etc.).  Why?   What makes an innovation spread?  What makes the rate of adoption increase?  What are the key factors according to diffusion of innovation theory?  What are the characteristics (or attributes) of an innovation that makes it quickly become adopted?  

Specifically, what are the attributes of the innovation that make it spread?

How do these attributes of an innovation apply to the diffusion of social media like Facebook, Twitter, etc.?


The above diffusion of innovations concepts has been previously covered.  Now, let's introduce a new diffusion of innovation concept, adopter categories.  We'll then apply this new concept to your adoption of social media.

According to Rogers, there are five categories of adopters, five type of people who adopt an innovation.

  1. Innovators - "Innovators are willing to take risks, have the highest social status, have financial liquidity, are social and have closest contact to scientific sources and interaction with other innovators. Their risk tolerance allows them to adopt technologies that may ultimately fail. Financial resources help absorb these failures."
  2. Early adopters - "These individuals have the highest degree of opinion leadership among the adopter categories. Early adopters have a higher social status, financial liquidity, advanced education and are more socially forward than late adopters. They are more discreet in adoption choices than innovators. They use judicious choice of adoption to help them maintain a central communication position."
  3. Early Majority - "They adopt an innovation after a varying degree of time that is significantly longer than the innovators and early adopters. Early Majority have above average social status, contact with early adopters and seldom hold positions of opinion leadership in a system (Rogers 1962, p. 283)"
  4. Late Majority  - They adopt an innovation after the average participant. These individuals approach an innovation with a high degree of skepticism and after the majority of society has adopted the innovation. Late Majority are typically skeptical about an innovation, have below average social status, little financial liquidity, in contact with others in late majority and early majority and little opinion leadership.
  5. Laggards - They are the last to adopt an innovation. Unlike some of the previous categories, individuals in this category show little to no opinion leadership. These individuals typically have an aversion to change-agents. Laggards typically tend to be focused on "traditions", lowest social status, lowest financial liquidity, oldest among adopters, and in contact with only family and close friends." (Wikipedia)

When it comes to your adoption of social media, which category did you fall into?

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