All My Lifes a Circle

Sure, it's a great song by Harry Chapin, but it's also how I'm thinking about people interacting with new technology. It seems to go something like this:

  • New technology gets announced
  • Alpha Adopters check it out, some stay, some leave
  • Tech Blogs pick up on it and write about it
  • 2nd wave of people come in to check it out
  • Critical mass builds
  • Influencers start talking about it
  • More people start signing up and servers get slower
  • Backlash begins
  • More people sign up
  • Major press starts picking up on it
  • FLURRY of new people, servers really screwed now
  • More backlash, calls of waste of time, etc
  • People leave
  • People who get it stay and help it evolve

Yeah I generalized a lot but I think this holds true. I've watched it happen in the early days of Blogging and Podcasting. Now I'm watching it happen with things like Second Life and Twitter.

What is also "fun" to watch is people trying to figure out the proper etiquette of whatever tool/space they are using. The alpha adopters sort of figure it out and then every newbie that comes in fumbles around and figures it out. What is great is with such a compressed time frame in which this whole circle happens the concept of what is "proper" evolves and shifts more then a pile of silly putty. Plus, I'm a firm believer that there is a huge lack of definition around what is the "right" way to do anything. More fun that way.

This is rather deep for this early in the morning. But, I had been marinating on it for a little while and had to spit it out before I filed it away to the dark cobweb corner of the brain. You never know what's back there and I didn't want this idea to get scared.

New Media Playground

Even Apple is Taunting Me!