It’s encouraging to see tech talk move to discussing about how to bring mainstream users online. Just over a year ago I drew the diagram above for a professional development workshop I gave at the Canadian Accredited Independent Schools. This is a normal adoption curve for just about anything from Twitter to political campaigns. The gaps indicate that the methods you use to get one group onside won’t work for the next group to the right. There is a particularly big change in tactics needed when moving from early adopters to the mainstream users. At the time, we were all stuck trying to figure out a way across the gap.
Maybe we forgot to consider giving folks some time as a method. And maybe we forgot to consider how tech marketing, by Apple in particular, has helped make tech attractive and exciting–cool, even–for mainstream users. Anyway, only a year has passed and I am impressed by the changes a short passage of time brings. There were noticeably more administrators at Alan November’s Building Learning Communities conference this year than the previous year. And I read more and more posts like Rob Diana’s here calling on developers to take down barriers to adoption, not add yet more of the features that make tech wonks excited: Be Disruptive Without Making It Seem That Way.