Gartner Hype Cycle at Stephen's Lighthouse Applied to LIS Weblogs
(Darlene Fichter and I are presenting a workshop on organizational weblogs next Saturday in Monterey...this is good food for thought!)
1. Technology Trigger: A breakthrough, public demonstration, product launch or other event generates significant press and industry interest.
Ponder any of the hot hot technologies we're discussing. When did you first hear about RFID? Podcasts? IM in libraries? Was it at a conference or a big event or in an article... what about BLOGS? Let's ponder blogs and podcasts for this example.
March 2002: CIL...I first heard about blogging..and I discovered some classic bloggers...
2. Peak of Inflated Expectations: During this phase of over enthusiasm and unrealistic projections, a flurry of well-publicized activity by technology leaders results in some successes, but more failures, as the technology is pushed to its limits. The only companies making money are conference organizers and magazine publishers.
Here I'm reminded of a bit I read in a recent issue of Business 2.0 on what technologies to ignore: podcasting, the writers state, "Yes, itís nice to get MP3s downloaded to your iPod. But where are the revenues? Podcasting will continue, but as a business, itís the latest iteration of CB radio."
BUT: while the business model may fail or die and return in some new way, user-created content will rule... be ready.
3. Trough of Disillusionment: Because the technology does not live up to its over inflated expectations, it rapidly becomes unfashionable. Media interest wanes, except for a few cautionary tales.
How many librarians started a blog and ceased after a few posts... how many libraries did as well. What about comment spam, broken software and how many folks sat in the conference and thought "I don't have TIME for this at my library...."
At the same time, some folk were realizing how powerful the read/write web might be....
4. Slope of Enlightenment: Focused experimentation and solid hard work by an increasingly diverse range of organizations lead to a true understanding of the technology's applicability, risks and benefits. Commercial, off-the-shelf methodologies and tools ease the development process.
Look at how the various content management systems have advanced and evolved. AADL is not your uncle's Blogger site is it?
5. Plateau of Productivity: The real-world benefits of the technology are demonstrated and accepted. Growing numbers of organizations feel comfortable with the reduced levels of risk, and the rapid growth phase of adoption begins.