DAY 5 | Never too late award

Terry Redman, Nationals MLA for Warren-Blackwood

Thirteen years ago, Greece had just held the Olympic games (hopeful it would usher in a new era of prosperity). A Republican president was in the Whitehouse. The cool kids were all using those crazy flip top mobile phones … and a smart guy in the US launched Facebook.

It took until January 2017 for Nationals MLA Terry Redman to give in and launch his Facebook page, but he has finally given in, with 100 early ‘likers’ for his page.

Mr Redman has been on Twitter for two years (and may have joined reluctantly based on his first tweet) but now tweets around once a day.

Dragged into twitter world! Expect plenty of tweets and photos from across regional Western Australia. TR

— Terry Redman (@TerryRedmanMLA) February 11, 2015

With Facebook now as well, there’s no stopping the MLA for Warren-Blackwood.

I’m now on Facebook! Make sure you go and ‘like’ my page to keep up with my movements – 👍

— Terry Redman (@TerryRedmanMLA) January 30, 2017

Why does it matter?

There’s a pattern to the adoption of technology called Diffusion of Innovation, first coined back in the 1960s by a researcher named Everett Rogers. His theory argues that for each piece of technological brilliance that emerges, there are five different categories of people who will accept it.

Roger’s Innovation Diffusion model (Creative Commons licence)

First up are the innovators, the people who get involved in an idea and help test or build it — beta testers, for example or academics tinkering on something new. These make up about 2.5 per cent of users but are willing to try something even if it fails.

Then come the early adopters (13.5 per cent of users) who are highly influential and who spread the word about whatever it is they are trying now.

After this group comes the early majority (about a third of users) — slower to take up the new idea but prepared to be persuaded. Then a similarly sized late majority, who tend to have been suspicious about the whole idea.

Finally, as a product or idea nears almost total saturation, you have the 16 per cent who are laggards (Rogers’ word, not ours!) They are the last to take it on, and may remain sceptical in doing so.

But while innovators and early adopters are often talked about as being crucial to the development of new ideas, laggards matter too. In fact, researchers in Lisbon are now trying to use the reluctant technology laggards of the world as the inspiration for new ideas and products as if you can convince them, you are probably on a winner.

Not only is it never too late to join Facebook, therefore, but the reasons for your resistance may be more valuable than you think.

DAY 4 | Electrifying content award
Day 6 | Cutting through the noise award