Cool infographic: Everett Roger’s Diffusion of Innovations

One of the advice I got before entering my Ph.D. program was to make sure I focus on theory. Those of us in communication love theory. While I’m still trying to figure out which theories will form part of my long-term research agenda, I’m very much drawn to Everett Roger’s work on diffusion of innovations/information. This is a very important theory in communication in general but particularly so in understanding health communication exposure and effects. So, I was quite excited to see the folks over at thornely & hill create an inforgraphic about diffusions of innovations.

So, what is diffusion of innovations about? See more after the jump.


This is what thornely & Hill had to say on their website.

Whenever a new innovation is offered up to the general populous, most of us are a little sheepish.  Some dive in with both feet, absorbing whatever drawbacks may come in return for being the first to adopt the new innovation.  Some are more prudent, choosing to observe these mavericks and become trusted mavens of our chosen field, enjoying the authority of being knowledgeable.  We all know someone like this!

Finally, there are people who simply not have the time to keep up with the latest trends, and rely on trusting others to lead the way.  These may be innovators or mavens (Early Adopters) in their own field, and perform the same function within different circles with different innovations.  Finally there are always the laggards, those who still stubbornly use a Nokia 3310 despite newer phones outperforming personal computers from barely a decade ago.

Below is an infographic representation of Everett Roger’s 1962 (revised a few times!) Diffusion of Innovations model.  Much criticised, much cited, and much talked about in other journals since then, his model helps illustrate how a product, trend, behaviour, social epidemic – anything within a social system becomes adopted, accepted and diffuses.  

We’ve blogged about them before on the social marketing process and about the difference between social marketing and social media marketing.

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