In the past few days I have had a number of annecdotal experiences that have lead me to believe that social networking is entering the late majority phase, which is the forth step in Everett roger's Diffusion of Innovations theory.
The first event was a conversation with my father and stepmother via video Skype this week. They installed Skype on their own AND initiated the conversation – it wasn't something I had recommended. Then yesterday, I got a Facebook invitation from my stepmother, also initiated by her. I accepted of course. Aside:
It was only today that she confessed she isn't entirely sure how it works and I gave her a few tips, which made me feel the world was right again.
Stages of Diffusion of Innovation
Then today, I had a conversation with Chris Lynn from the Social TNT blog. He is in town to visit his family and he related that his grandmother was in wonder with the changes in communication.
As I was wading through twitter, a message from Peter Himler, from The Flack caught my eye with a link to this video.
The stats in the video were impressive, but the speed with which communication has accelerated we best captured in this set of facts:
Years to reach a market audience of 50 million
Radio – 38
Television – 13
Computer – 4
iPod – 3
Facebook – 2
I have felt this evolution personally. I started this blog in late 2005. At that time most bloggers and readers limited their interaction to blog posts, comments, e-mail and the occasional phonecall. Most of us had a MySpace page, but it wasn't used robustly. Then came Twitter and all of the other services: Facebook, Friendfeeed, Qik, Utterli, Twitpic, etc.
So much has changed, but it hasn't ended yet, and even with an economic downturn it still will morph. There will be consolidation and a hardening of position, but I suspect that communication will march on to its next evolution.
I am going to be thinking about that over the next week or so for my annual PR trends post, but in the meanwhile, I would love to hear what you think.
What is next?
See Peter Himler's excellent aggregation of links to ideas and prognostications for 2009.