This will be by far one of the fun posts to read on this blog, mostly because it’s full of baby videos. I’m able to take a moment to blog about the birth of my son, but with a bit of a social media twist you’ve come to expect from a blog focusin on social media economics (among other things). It turns out there’s a bit of insight to be drawn from this other than the insight of learning to be a parent.
First, here’s a snippet of newborn cute overload, starring Ian E. Gonzalez, born Sunday, February 13, 2009. We proud parents couldn’t be happier.Vodpod videos no longer available.
It’s been quite a ride as any first time parent can attest to, which includes taking far more pictures per minute than previously thought possible. What’s different about newborns born in the last few years is of course the proliferation of images and videos on social media sites. Predictably, a number of friends and family on Facebook, Twitter, and Friendfeed were quick to join the conversation. It was also interesting to connect with others who friended my wife and I. What we didn’t predict is how much the social media information sharing dynamic has fundamentally changed behavior in our extended family.
How Grandmothers Find Facebook
For starters, family members who couldn’t care less about social media immediately became social media adopters, including little Ian’s grandmother. As soon as word got out that Facebook is where all the new infant pictures go, a number of our family members made the effort were quick to sign up. Nobody wanted to be late to the party! The trend was fun to watch as it developed. I can’t help but think of 10 common objections to social media adoption, of course. It seems there are four broad 4 broad themes at play here, which apply to either consumer or business use:
1. “I don’t have the time, patience, skills, or (insert resource) to get involved; the cost in time is high. It seems like it takes alot of time and energy.”
2. “The benefits aren’t significant to me.” Variant: “The discussion is too geeky or is meaningless and I have real work to do.”
3. “I feel exposed, and I’m concerned about the security of my information.”
4. “I don’t know where to start.”
All four objections get blown away when the driver to adoption is a wedding, birth, or some other life changing event (especially if the event is geographically distant). In our case:
1) newborn cute overload is worth the time to look into, especially for grandma.
2) The subject matter is fun and certainly not geeky.
3) The need for security is relatively low (but not zero) when sharing pictures of kids or weddings
4) and there’s no need to figure out where to begin – just go where the multimedia is posted.
The Key Takeaway
As I reflect on the last week, I’ve come up with a hypothesis. I think early adopters, the utility and and network effects of social media tools drive adoption. For adoption laggards on the other had, a personally appealing, life-changing event may provide just enough drive to push them over the ledge. Absent such an event to drive interest, few laggards see a high enough of a benefit/cost ratio to jump in. I’d be curious to hear your thoughts about this.