Thursday, December 14, 2006

Early Adopters, Laggards, and Blogging

Gartner Inc., a tech research company, predicts that the adoption of blogging softwares will peak in 2007 and then level off. The CBC reports that this is not due to an inherent flaw in blogging but that this is characteristic of all new products. I learned this in an undergraduate course on marketing. First, early adopters snatch up flashy new products and through word-of-mouth spread news and hype/trash about the good. New customers follow in waves depending on their relative openness to new goods. With techie goods this tends to have a very rapid progression; DVDs for instance were one of the most quickly adopted formats. Laggards are the type of people that still use a VCR and disdain DVD technology, searching stores for VHS cassettes.

The article on blogging notes that those who would want a blog would have started one by now, and those that had one and were disenchanted have moved on. Sure, those who are into trends have probably moved on somewhere else, but I think blogs have great potential, especially for research, collaborative work, and distance communications. I have seen many grad students blogging for posterity, posting their findings and jotting down preliminary observations. When I worked at MDCN, we blogged questions, process, sources, and plans. Finally, with the many profs and students one meets at academic conferences and meetings, blogs make a great method of keeping up with diverse research projects.

Obviously, my position as a student researcher flavor my view of blogging. I know some of you out there blog as a professional endeavor, as a personal diary, and as a method of keeping in touch with loved ones. Do you see a future in blogging beyond the rise and fall of consumer goods with planned obselence?

No comments: