For this assignment I have selected Linkedin as unit of analysis. Linkedin was created in 2003 as a social networking service. Their business orientated network can be seen as a tool that enables professional/purposeful networking. This can be closely linked to the lecture by Rondal van Es. As we saw in the gender lecture by Marieke de Kort 19% woman and 24 % men use Linkedin. When we translate this into Roger’s terms of the maturity of diffusion and adopter typology we can classify it as having hit the early majority.
Within my network I found two entrepreneurs who have their own consultancy bureau (with eight employees). Of these entrepreneurs only one has a Linkedin account. She can definitely be considered as an early adopter since she started using it in 2007. Reason for the early use, according to her, is that she quickly saw the opportunities for her business. By being on Linkedin she was able to get more projects for her company. Key in this was a connection she made with somebody from the city council. Within her network people started using it because they received an email from Linkedin that the entrepreneur invited them on Linked. This can be linked to the article by Young (2009), where contagion is mentioned as a scenario for adoption. Here, people adopt because they come in contact with an adopter. Therefore, it can be said that they get ‘infected’ by the innovation and that this will spread throughout the network. The other entrepreneur has not adopted yet because he has a Facebook page for his company and feels that this suffices for the moment. He can be classified as a laggard, but on the other hand, he said that he has the intention the create an account because he feels he is missing out on opportunities. In this respect we can speak of social learning (Young, 2009). He could be further motivated when he learns the other advantages Linkedin has to offer.
Luuk Staudt (2506898)