Where are we at in the adoption life cycle of blogs? Very, very early.
One of the more important concepts in marketing a technology product comes from Geoff Moore’s Crossing the Chasm. Moore used the bell curve to indicates how people respond to a new technology.
To explain, I’ll borrow this graphic and description from this morning’s post from Seth Godin. (note Seth doesn’t buy the whole concept).
The little green tail on the left represent the few, the brave, the innovators. These are the geeks and the nerds that love new stuff. The black segment next to it are the early adopters (not adapters, that means something else) that embrace new ideas that help them do the rest of their lives more productively. The next group picks up new ideas a little more slowly (these are the folks who bought an iPod last year) and the next group completes the mass market (these are the ones that will buy an iPod next year). The last group are the laggards and they still have a record player.
One of the giant insights of the new marketing is that the only way to introduce a new idea is to move across the curve. Sell to the little tail, they tell the next group, which passes the word on to the mass market. That’s why the little tiny green tail is so valuable… these are the people who are listening, these are the people who will become your marketing force.
Starting my second technology company, LexBlog, I’m rereading Crossing the Chasm. By and large, it’s the innovators who are using blogs. Sure there’s large law firms and companies using blogs. But it’s the innovators who are instituting those blog programs. And those blog programs themselves are still in their infancy, or an innovative stage.
LexBlog’s job in the coming year is to use testimonials and knowledge we’ve learned from the innovators to introduce professional marketing blogs to the early adopters. Maybe by ’07, we’ll move onto the next group, the early majority. These things take time.