My professional history is online for all to see on my LinkedIn profile.

LinkedIn has become THE professional social networking site in the same vain that Facebook has become THE personal networking site. (A small request: please don't add me to either of your connections or friends unless you actually know me. Mmm, there's a thought for another blog).

It's funny, I can't remember when either became THE site, either for me personally or for others. I suspect in both cases, I was behind the curve - my partner frequently reminds me I'm not generally an early adopter of technology.

For example, I didn't get an iPod until 2005 and even then it was only for two limited uses: the gym and the car. According to THE source of all truth on the internets, Wikipedia, the iPod was released in 2001 and I didn't adopt until the forth generation device (which died just out of warranty and drove my rapid upgrade to the fifth generation device).

However, a look at the iPod's quarterly sales tells a different story about my technology adoption (yes, I'm am a 'sales person' professionally so I'm probably showing my spots here by using any available data to support the case I want to make). The data shows that in 2005 Q1, when I bought my first iPod, Apple recorded approximately 5 million unit sales - well up on any of their previous quarters and over 100% on their 2004 Q4 sales.

I'd suggest that 2005 Q1 was the iPod's "tipping point", which would put me somewhere between a visionary (early adopters) and a pragmatist (early majority). I can live with that.

Interestingly, and in text book style, for all my technology adoption decisions, I would say the defining moment for my decision is the fact that I can integrate it into my life without experiencing or needing a dramatic change. For the iPod, I joined the bandwagon when it clearly evolved to be the de facto standard for digital music players and I knew the risk of me choosing a device that was incompatible with other's choice, was low. A good example of that was the car connectivity offered by most manufacturers for the iPod.

For LinkedIn, it was a combination of a compelling event on my part and compelling events on other's part. I changed employment and the ability to keep everyone updated of my whereabouts without any real effort on my part was enough for me to get on that bandwagon. It seems this was true of most members of LinkedIn and the tipping point was breached.

It does make we wonder when the next subtle innovation will sneak up and wriggle it's way into my life.

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posted by Lee Gale @ 12:01 PM,


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