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Diffusion of Innovations: Email Rebecca Foster and Becca Levy
Diffusion <ul><li>“The process by which an innovation is communicated through certain channels over time among the members...
Adopter Categories <ul><li>“The classifications of members of a social system on the basis of innovativeness.” </li></ul><...
Subjects <ul><li>Subject 1: father of three born in 1951, early adopter </li></ul><ul><li>Subject 2: mother of three born ...
Characteristics of Innovations <ul><li>Relative advantage </li></ul><ul><li>Compatibility </li></ul><ul><li>Complexity </l...
Relative Advantage <ul><li>“ The degree to which an innovation is perceived as better than the idea it supersedes.” </li><...
Relative Advantage Quotes <ul><li>Subject 2: “No one hears your voice, so you can be as emotional or complacent as you wis...
Compatibility <ul><li>“ The degree to which an innovation is perceived as being consistent with the existing values, past ...
Compatibility Quotes <ul><ul><li>Subject 1: “Email is more efficient…it’s a real time saver.  Rather than trade phone mess...
Complexity <ul><li>“The degree to which an innovation is perceived as difficult to understand and use.” </li></ul><ul><li>...
Complexity Quotes <ul><li>Subject 3: “I’m missing not being able to hear from a lot of people that I would like to hear fr...
Trialability <ul><li>“ The degree to which an innovation may be experimented with on a limited basis.” </li></ul><ul><li>E...
Trialability Quotes <ul><ul><li>Subject 1: “I bought my first computer in 1983. In the early to mid 1990’s, I heard about ...
Observability <ul><li>“ The degree to which the results of an innovation are visible to others.” </li></ul><ul><li>Email h...
Observability Quotes <ul><li>Subject 2: “It was becoming the best, fastest, most popular way of communicating and if I did...
The Future <ul><li>We also discussed where email will take us in the future and what life will be like for those who grow ...
Citations <ul><li>Rogers, E. M. (1994). Elements of diffusion. In  Diffusion of Innovations (pp. 1-37). New York: Free Pre...
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Diffusion of innovations presentation

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  1. 1. Diffusion of Innovations: Email Rebecca Foster and Becca Levy
  2. 2. Diffusion <ul><li>“The process by which an innovation is communicated through certain channels over time among the members of a social system.” </li></ul><ul><li>For example, the increasing popularity of email throughout the 1990s and 2000s </li></ul><ul><li>In the following slides, we discuss our interviews with six subjects about their adoption of the innovation of email </li></ul>
  3. 3. Adopter Categories <ul><li>“The classifications of members of a social system on the basis of innovativeness.” </li></ul><ul><li>Innovators </li></ul><ul><li>Early adopters </li></ul><ul><li>Early majority </li></ul><ul><li>Later majority </li></ul><ul><li>Laggards </li></ul>
  4. 4. Subjects <ul><li>Subject 1: father of three born in 1951, early adopter </li></ul><ul><li>Subject 2: mother of three born in 1953, later majority </li></ul><ul><li>Subject 3: mother of two born in 1946, extreme laggard (non-adopter) </li></ul><ul><li>Subject 4: father of three born in 1957, early majority </li></ul><ul><li>Subject 5: mother of three born in 1961, later majority </li></ul><ul><li>Subject 6: mother of two born in 1935, laggard </li></ul>
  5. 5. Characteristics of Innovations <ul><li>Relative advantage </li></ul><ul><li>Compatibility </li></ul><ul><li>Complexity </li></ul><ul><li>Trailability </li></ul><ul><li>Observability </li></ul>
  6. 6. Relative Advantage <ul><li>“ The degree to which an innovation is perceived as better than the idea it supersedes.” </li></ul><ul><li>Email vs. snail mail: Email was perceived as a much faster and more efficient alternative to snail mail. It was able to convey information instantaneously and without cost, once the technology is obtained. </li></ul><ul><li>Email vs. phone: Both were instantaneous forms of communication, but email is cheaper and was more convenient for working around different schedules. Also, email provided a tangible record of conversation. Another point of comparison is the lack of tone of voice required when typing an email vs. talking on the phone; this could be construed as a positive or a negative. </li></ul><ul><li>In general, some feel email is a less personal form of communication. </li></ul><ul><li>Some have concerns over security/privacy issues associated with using email and the internet. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Relative Advantage Quotes <ul><li>Subject 2: “No one hears your voice, so you can be as emotional or complacent as you wish. Also, the time frame is much more relaxed – I can read emails when I have the time.” </li></ul><ul><li>Subject 5 on tone disadvantages in email: </li></ul><ul><li>Subject 4 on email in the workplace: </li></ul><ul><li>Subject 6 on email and the elderly: </li></ul><ul><li>Subject 5 on benefits of using email: </li></ul><ul><li>Subject 4 on phone vs. email: </li></ul><ul><li>Subject 5 on phone vs. email (two quotes) </li></ul>
  8. 8. Compatibility <ul><li>“ The degree to which an innovation is perceived as being consistent with the existing values, past experiences, and needs of potential adopters.” </li></ul><ul><li>Email had mixed compatibility. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Email had the ability to convey the same messages that consumers had grown to expect in a method of communication, like snail mail or the phone. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Since email required such a big investment in vastly different technologies than most were used to (the computer), some found it incompatible with their lifestyle. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This also applies to people’s value of personal communication – some feel you do not get the same level of intimacy when communicating through email than when hearing a person’s voice. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Also, this affects people’s value of privacy because personal information is so easily attainable on the internet. </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Compatibility Quotes <ul><ul><li>Subject 1: “Email is more efficient…it’s a real time saver. Rather than trade phone messages, you can shoot off an email and get a quicker response.” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Subject 4 on personal aspects (two quotes): </li></ul><ul><li>Subject 4 on security: </li></ul>
  10. 10. Complexity <ul><li>“The degree to which an innovation is perceived as difficult to understand and use.” </li></ul><ul><li>Initially, people perceived email as highly complex and requiring a large time commitment to learn. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Complexity Quotes <ul><li>Subject 3: “I’m missing not being able to hear from a lot of people that I would like to hear from if I did have an email. But you need a structured class to learn and with my schedule I would have to miss work some of the time.” </li></ul><ul><li>Subject 5 on adjusting to using email: </li></ul>
  12. 12. Trialability <ul><li>“ The degree to which an innovation may be experimented with on a limited basis.” </li></ul><ul><li>Email had mixed trailability. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If one already had the technology, email was easy to try, without a commitment due to free email websites. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If one did not already have the technology, trying email required a big commitment. </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Trialability Quotes <ul><ul><li>Subject 1: “I bought my first computer in 1983. In the early to mid 1990’s, I heard about email from my children who talked about AOL. I just loaded AOL on my computer and followed the directions. I was already computer literate so no one needed to show me how. AOL’s system was very intuitive.” </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Observability <ul><li>“ The degree to which the results of an innovation are visible to others.” </li></ul><ul><li>Email had a high degree of observability. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>As people saw their peers or their children talking about and using email, they were encouraged to hop on the bandwagon and start using email themselves. </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Observability Quotes <ul><li>Subject 2: “It was becoming the best, fastest, most popular way of communicating and if I didn’t want to be left out of the loop completely, I needed to learn it and do it.” </li></ul><ul><li>Subject 4 on his motive for getting email: </li></ul>
  16. 16. The Future <ul><li>We also discussed where email will take us in the future and what life will be like for those who grow up with internet communication </li></ul><ul><li>Subject 4: </li></ul><ul><li>Subject 5: </li></ul><ul><li>Subject 6: </li></ul>
  17. 17. Citations <ul><li>Rogers, E. M. (1994). Elements of diffusion. In Diffusion of Innovations (pp. 1-37). New York: Free Press. </li></ul><ul><li>Thanks to Mike Levy, Cheri Levy, Raquel Shapiro, Richard Foster, Nancy Foster, & Judy Basch for the interviews. </li></ul>
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