I mentioned Everett Rogers awhile back (one of the key researchers on “diffusion of innovations”) – which got me thinking (I also upgraded my copy of the book to the fifth edition – which helps the thinking)…
The key variables determining the rate of adoption of innovations in his model are the perceived attributes of innovations – which are:
- Relative advantage – the degree to which the innovation is perceived as being better than what came before it
- Compatibility – the degree to which an innovation is perceived as being consisten with past experiences
- Complexity – the degree to which an innovation is perceived as relatively difficult to use and understand
- Triability – the degree to which an innovation may be experimented with on a limited basis
- Observability – the degree to which the results of an innovation are visible to others.
(there are 4 others – including, type of innovation (buying) decision, communications channels, nature of social system and extend of change agents’ promotion efforts).
If you just take the perceived attributes of innovations and evaluate some of the new web technologies (tagging, wiki’s, blog syndication, etc.) against those attributes, you will quickly conclude that we have a long way to go (I guess that’s where good marketers come in the picture)!