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Law Blogs : Crossing the chasm

January 8, 2007

Nick Holmes has an excellent post this morning that law blogs remain in their infancy. Follows up on my response to folks saying law blogs may be on the wane.

Nick cites Shel Israel on the need to cross the chasm’s ala Geoffrey Moore’s marketing technology classic, Crossing the Chasm.

Crossing the Chasm concerns the marketing of tech products. The chasm referred to relates to the the Technology Adoption Lifecycle. The adoption or acceptance of a new product or innovation follows a classical normal distribution or ‘bell curve.’ The first group of people to use a new product are the ‘innovators,’ followed by ‘early adopters’, then the early and late majority, and finally the ‘laggards’. Moore revises this for discontinuous or disruptive innovations: there is a ‘chasm’ between the first two adopter groups (the innovators and adopters) and the early majority.

Shel sees blogging and social media moving from the innovators to the mainstream just as email and the Internet did.

Both of these early disruptive innovations are now boring because they are so much of the usual business routine. It was not all that long ago that having a website, or allowing employees to email on company time were highly controversial with legal departments fretting the repercussions just as they do today over blogging.

…First comes the excitement, then comes the prolongs inevitable change. This is what is supposed to happen. New things need to normalize if they are to endure if they are to really and truly change corporate communications.

Agree wholeheartedly with Nick:

Various drivers will ensure blogging becomes normal business practice, inter alia: established publishers are producing blogs; marketing people are using them; established content management systems are incorporating blogging features. In five years’ time blogging will be as normal for businesses as having a website is today. The culture will have changed: blogging will on balance be less geeky, less chummy, more commercialised. This mirrors what happened to the web itself ten years ago.

If you’re thrown off by the title of Shel’s book blog changing from Naked Conversations to Global Neighbourhoods, he’s doing a new book.

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