Louis Gray’s “five stages of early adopterism” chart

One of my favorite posts Louis Gray ever did was this one where he explained the stages early adopters go through as we use a product.

He explained how early adopters go through five stages of using a product starting with discovery and ending with migration.

Right now I’m in the “migration” phase with FriendFeed and the “entitlement” phase with Google Reader (actually, thinking about it, I’m in the migration phase there too).

But some tools and services get to restart the loop. Twitter did that for me in June.

What happened in June?

Well, I had an accidental meeting with Ev Williams (founder/CEO of Twitter) and he told me about the wave of new features that would be coming soon (lists was the first one).

If you’ve been following my dealings with Twitter I tried to get everyone to join FriendFeed. You all know how that worked out. In hindsight that never would have worked because of the chat/forum problem I talked about last night.

So, now, because of Twitter’s new lists feature we are back in the “discovery phase” and moving quickly to “promotion.”

It was this meeting that got me to refocus on Twitter and not Facebook’s purchase of FriendFeed (although that sped things up a lot).

I realized that the new features (we’ve only seen one of the three so far) would rejuvenate Twitter and make my investment in FriendFeed (time investment) not worth as much. It was then that I decided to delete all the 106,000 people I was following and take a new approach.

It’s a pain to figure out what I’m excited about, I know. It’s a pain for ME to figure it out!

One thing I love about this new world is everyone can Tweet about what they are excited about.

So, Tweet on!

What are you excited about? What are you migrating off of?

And, this shows me that new features CAN get you to reengage with a product, even one that you don’t like for personal reasons (I got over it with Twitter).

About Robert Scoble

As Startup Liaison for Rackspace, the Open Cloud Computing Company, I travel the world with Rocky Barbanica looking for what's happening on the bleeding edge of technology and report that here.

21 thoughts on “Louis Gray’s “five stages of early adopterism” chart

  1. Hey! Check out this cool photo tagging software called Fotobounce! It can help you sort your images using face recognition! It can also download & tag your photos from facebook & flickr! You can even use it from your cellphone, get it for free at: http://fotobounce.com/index.php?blog

  2. Great post and interesting source post – would love to know more about how the research was conducted to come up with the data behind the pic?

  3. I quite agree with it. But as you point out, this can always restart and go all the way back to discovery. i always wanted to have a more manageable Twitter and the Lists feature makes that possible. I might be following a thousand folks but can always filter the most useful tweets by taking advantage of this list~

  4. Yes. Actually on Friday I had a talk with NK, who wrote the object database underneath these new features and the new list features and I'm even more excited now.

  5. Just curious. Do you feel you would be as excited about Twitter right now if you had been made aware of the features, but hadn't had what was in effect an informal pitch from Twitter's top man?

  6. Twitter search has always been messed up for me, which is why Louis and I still love FriendFeed's technology. But even there I'm hearing major changes to Twitter's search are coming. It's just taken them some time to rebuild the technology stack underneath (Twitter's @nk told me Friday they rebuilt the database underneath Twitter from scratch, which is letting them build new features at a pretty quick pace now).

  7. Essentially it's lots (tens of thousands, I would guess) of folk missing from Twitter search, which means their replies don't show up in a lot of Twitter clients. Nor can they participate in hashtags (and any memes therein) and stuff like that. Documented here: http://twittercism.com/fixtwittersearch/ Twitter are aware of the problem but it's ongoing and has been an issue for months.

  8. That's one of those posts that keeps on giving. I didn't expect it to be as accurate as it is, but it's not only served to chronicle the process you and I go through, but it's helped to be a reminder to me to avoid acting like the stage 4 and stage 5 person I can be. When things get tough, I use it as an internal check to avoid looking like… what do you call it… an arrogant baassttarrrddd? :)

    A service like FriendFeed is a combination of technology and community. The technology is beyond measure, in my opinion. The community that is there has grown and become great on that platform. That it has changed over time is without question. Much have that has accelerated following the awkward and quiet Facebook acquisition. But the truth is that if every single person left, and kept their feeds intact, it would still have value for me.

    I am working with a few sites that have interesting technology and interesting communities to see if they can fill the perceived void. But I don't think Twitter or Facebook are 100% the answer yet. We'll see!

  9. Sheamus: yeah, I gave @nk crap for blocking not being consistent. I don't think their philosophy allows them to go back and fix design mistakes. Sigh. I hope they do, though. People missing from replies? Is it getting better or worse lately? I haven't noticed that, but then I have so much coming across my screen I wouldn't notice a few missing @replies.

  10. I'd be excited if Twitter concentrated on finding solutions to existing problems – such as people missing from replies, implementing a proper blocking system and their complete lack of an abuse policy – and *then* looked a little ahead. Otherwise we're just mounting more problematic code and poorly-considered modules on top of the old ones.

    Otherwise: I'm psyched! ;)

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