Tag Archives: early adopter

Woodstock was not Woodstock.

Jimi_Hendrix_on_stage_fender_stratocaster

Would it be uncool if Jimi Hendrix, 66, joined Facebook?

If you remember the 1960s and ’70s, chances are you view(ed) it as a time of tectonic upheaval, as forces of peace and love sought to displace the power of The Man, squareness, conformity, bigotry, oppression, Nixon, LBJ, J. Edgar Hoover, those who couldn’t dig it, and all music recorded by or under the influence of Frank Sinatra.

With the passage of time and the Baby Boomers now staking their place toward the end of the generational queue, we’ve come to realize that a generation gap is not a near-mythic abyss, but merely a socio-biological phenomenon, as predictable and benign as the phases of the moon.

So the criticisms of us from the other side of the generational divide rankle less: Boomers are selfish, Boomers are Social Security hogs, Boomers are conspicuously environmental. And the latest, asked almost redundantly: “Are Baby Boomers Killing Facebook and Twitter?

“When the Baby Boomers … arrive, they tend to do so en masse. And when they set up camp, they invariably change the dynamic of the social network itself,” Robert Shrohmeyer writes in PC World, and goes on to blame the horde-over-50 for bringing with them “everything from increased political activity to a proliferation of spam.”

I don’t know what fits between those two extremes. But as extreme as it sounds, remember that this is not a replay of Woodstock — the young seeking to push aside the old — because Woodstock was not Woodstock.  This is merely about social demographics. Plus, they’re not going to push us aside.

Instead, these Millennials might run away, abandoning the current social media mainstream for the next hot young thing.

(I’ll just note there’s a new Woodstock website, which I found out about from a blog called The Sixties. The Woodstock festival took place 40 years ago in August. When I clicked on the Woodstock site, there were two ads for the Ford Fusion hybrid.)

My own Facebook friend list is multi-generational, and I admit that I communicate with my younger friends differently than those who are my age. Then again, I don’t treat my close friends the same way I treat those who know me nominally, no matter what their age.

I’m curious — how do you handle generational differences on Facebook, Twitter and other social media?  And “you” is anyone of any age or generation.

Wired has some juicy comments that address my question, including this one:

“Once older people began to like something we like, it just loses its luster. It happens with everything. Before you know it, we will have to ditch facebook and crete another site and that will be invaded. Please just stop. Why doesn’t someone create a social site just for baby boomers so you’ll leave us the hell alone.”

You can hear the basement door slam, can’t you?

Lets discuss this soon, before the tide goes out. A blog and BizReport suggest that Boomers are abandoning Facebook. Even if true, we can be sure that the generational struggle will continue someplace else.

(Just to clarify, Jimi Hendrix, born in 1942, was not a Baby Boomer. Only 7 percent of Jimi’s generation “have online social-networking profiles,” according to this informative article on CNN.com.)

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Filed under communications, internet, social media

Radio days.

Wax on: This radio has a turntable for recording broadcasts.

Wax on: This radio has a turntable for recording broadcasts.

Once upon a time, the FM band was not where we now find it, but between 42 and 50 MHz. That was before the end of World War II. In 1945, the Federal Communications Commission moved the band to 88-108 MHz to accommodate the television spectrum.

I learned these facts during a family visit to the Radio and Television Museum, a little gem in a reconstructed farmhouse in Bowie, Maryland, about an hour from where we live.

Instead of wandering the two floors, we took the guided tour and were amazed at how much history the little house contains – from the earliest wireless sets that played only Morse code, to cabinet-sized black-and-white TVs like the kind we had when I was a kid.

But something struck me about that switch in the FM dial. Something that happens with such regularity now, but must have come out of the blue for radio owners. Obsolescence. FM was not the powerful medium it became in the 1970s. Still, there were 15,000 FM receivers in use in 1941, Brian Belanger, the museum’s executive director, writes in “The Rise of FM Broadcasting.” And those owners had paid for an expensive product – the equivalent of thousands of today’s dollars.

As America entered the war FM was on the rise — 50,000 FM sets were sold in January 1942, according to Belanger. Then production was halted. By the time FM radios were being built again, the FM band was not where it once was, and those radio owners, those early adopters – unlike today’s TV owners who have a box to unscramble the new digital broadcasts – were out of luck.

What change in technology was the biggest adjustment for you?  What has gotten lost in the rapid technological shifts?

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Filed under communications, FM radio, popular culture

Just tried the new Colgate Wisp. Anyone want a kiss?

colgate_wisp

Is Twitter on the way out? I’m asking because I’m still on the fence about it (see my thoughts about cell phones) and this post quoted another post that raised the question.

” ‘Early adopters like a product as long as they are the early adopters for it. Once it reaches that majority status, early adopters start looking for something else to adopt . . . early.’  This is an interesting thought. Is Twitter getting too big? Is it starting to grow too much?” one or both of them wrote.

There’s so much pro and con about Twitter out there. Like here and here. Here. Here. Even here. Here’s a video called “Real Life Twitter.” And here’s a post that argues Twitter has jumped the shark. (And let me point out that the phrase “jumped the shark” itself jumped the shark long before Twitter was invented.)

The people who seem to be abandoning Twitter are the so-called early adopters. They’re the folks who, when you find out about the party and show up early, are there and already sloshed.

Early adopters are the people who dropped their gas lighting service and wired their house for electricity before anyone else. They’re the ones who decided they didn’t have to walk to the next farm to borrow an egg because they could buy a car and get there faster. And after being the first on the street with a telephone, decided there would be some worth in not depending on people calling back, and bought an answering machine so they’d never miss a call.

You see what I’m getting at? There’s still no reason they installed 8-Track players in their cars.

But the deeper questions are: how do you early adopter types see what I don’t see, and what are you seeing right now?

Cindi suggested time travel might be next, but she was joshing. I suppose. I’m curious, what’s the next big thing? What are you the first person doing? What gets you “early adopter” written all over your face?

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Filed under internet