Tag Archives: Miguel Helft

Are you a laggard?

1 Nov

Do you feel like you’re falling behind others who are moving along the technological highway faster than you? Maybe you’re not even on the highway. Maybe you’re still on the frontage road.

If this sounds familiar, you might be a laggard.

One dictionary defines a laggard as “one that lags; a straggler” or “hanging back or falling behind.”

Source: designdamage.com

Source: designdamage.com

To companies trying to get your business, you are the 16 percent of the market share who care “for the ‘old ways,’ are critical towards new ideas and will only accept it if the new idea has become mainstream or even traditional.”

Before doing some research, I thought I was a laggard, but in fact, I am more likely part of the 34 percent of the audience who are in the late majority category. We are “skeptic people” who “will use the new ideas or products only when the majority is using it.” We’re cousins of the laggards, and companies are trying to figure out what to do with us.

“In the age of Facebook, blogs and micro-blogging services like Twitter, these are forces that technology companies need to understand and address as they bet their fortunes on their ability to market a nearly continuous stream of new products and upgrades.

Experts say that late adopters, or technology laggards, are not necessarily Luddites and can play a pivotal role in keeping the beat of innovation.

‘Laggards have a bad rap, but they are crucial in pacing the nature of change,’ said Paul Saffo, a technology forecaster in Silicon Valley. ‘Innovation requires the push of early adopters and the pull of laypeople asking whether something really works. If this was a world in which only early adopters got to choose, we’d all be using CB radios and quadraphonic stereo,’” Miguel Helft, of the New York Times, said in 2008.

Part of the issue for laggards is that they do what works until it stops working, even if it takes years.

I got my first computer in 2006, a year after I graduated from college. I still graduated magna cum laude from my university and was awarded “Outstanding Journalism Senior” of my graduating class – all without owning my own computer.

I don’t say that to brag. Just to show that, on a personal level, you don’t have to be an early adopter or innovator to do well in life in general.

However, if you’re working as a communications professional at a company, you need to be able to use and adapt to whatever the best strategy is for that organization. Right now, that means learning which social media platforms will work for you and which won’t. But you have to know how to use them.

Source: blog.imageworksllc.com

Source: blog.imageworksllc.com

“Companies today being led by social media Laggards do not have Facebook and Twitter accounts. If you want to make an inquiry about their products or services, you can’t reach them online. They do not know what your real interests are because they are not online to listen to you. Worse, they think of Vine as a place to grow grapes. These companies are not part of the rich conversations happening on social media. They’re not part of the r(e)volution,” Cindy Padilla, of calvinayre.com, said in September  of 2013.

On a personal level, being a laggard is a choice of lifestyle. As an organization, though, you don’t want to be a technological laggard, especially when it comes to social media.

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