I visualize technology adoption like a huge wave crashing to shore. At the tip of that wave’s crest are the newest of new technologies, such as FriendFeed and Plurk. As the wave advances, they’ll either gain usage amongst a wider audience or dissolve into nothingness. Below the tip are still new technologies that are trying to “cross the chasm” into the mainstream, such as Twitter – they might make it, or also just fade away. Next up we have technologies that spreading to the masses, like Facebook and blogging.
From my time here in Silicon Valley, I’ve noticed a tendency that the “higher ups” on the early adoption wave tend to look down upon the rest. Sometimes the smugness is so thick it’s as if those users who don’t microblog are busy using whiteout on their monitors while wiping a lingering trail of drool off their chin.
Over the weekend, it turns out someone tried to “phish” Twitter users, and achieved enough success to warrant widespread coverage by bloggers and online media. The official Twitter blog stated:
It looks as though this particular scam sent out emails resembling those you might receive from Twitter if you get email notifications of your Direct Messages. The email said, “hey! check out this funny blog about you…” and then provided a link. That link redirected to a site masquerading as the Twitter front page.
If you didn’t look at the URL of this false Twitter page, then you might not have noticed that it was actually just a page on the domain access-logins.com which was also faking Facebook’s front page. We immediately reported the offending domain (and warned our friends at Facebook). The site is now on OpenDNS’ and Google’s reported phishing lists.
So if you’ve ever had someone make fun of you because you aren’t using the beta version of an operating system, don’t lifecast yourself while making potty, or still have to push multiple buttons on your cell phone, this is your time for a Nelson-ish “haa-ha”. Now I certainly don’t wish success to anyone using malicious activites like this online, it’s truly bad for everyone.
But maybe all the “I’m-so-cool-and-you’re-on-MySpace” attitudes of so many echo chamberites, maybe your horse ain’t so high after all? Maybe a few of the people who got suckered in can help build better interfaces to their technologies so our less technically savvy friends don’t have to feel stupid when trying to adopt new stuff? I have three “what I hope we all learn from this” statements:
- Being an early adopter doesn’t make anyone “better” than anyone else, and clearly not smarter.
- Product/interface designers need to do better jobs at making their technology more approachable.
- Internet companies, as a whole (Google – I’m calling you out here – you need to make spammy search results go bye-bye), are failing to protect consumers from those with malicious intent.
Sadly spam will never leave as their will always be those who are profiting from it. If everyone stopped buying through spam it would decrease it I believe.
Also early adopter means only one thing; early adopter 🙂