Emerging Early Adopters: With only 10 min demo, 11 & 12 year-olds pounce on social software in their elementary school.
Social media tools enable them to be connected, extend their outreach, and ensure that all members can have a voice within the tribe.
— Seth Godin, Tribes Q&A
Given my previous post on Max, I was a bit delayed in getting edu.cyn.in – Cynpase ‘s cyn.in Software as a Service, launched. However, since my Update on pitching social software to Sara’s elementary school post, we did manage to sign-up 34 members – exactly half of which were parents. (This also helps support the grassroots approach to social software adoption.)
On one of the last days before school broke for the holidays, I was left with only ten minutes of demo time. So I decided to quickly peruse the site structure which has a Space for the elementary school and sub-Spaces for the Students and another for the teachers and parents. I explained to the students that parents & teachers can view, but not write, in their Student Space, so they need to be sure that whatever they post is appropriate. Furthermore, they can’t even view what’s in the teachers’ & parents’ Spaces. However, everyone can post (read/write) in the Home and their school Space. Basically, the students are allowed to write whatever their conscience allows for.
Having explained the Big Brother philosophy and with precious little time remaining, I gave them a quick tour on how to navigate the site & then showed them Cynapse’s Status Logs. This is almost the equivalent of Twitter except:
- there is no Following, so there’s no need to Follow whoever is in fashion
- the messages are threaded, which allows members to Comment on a specific Status message, as well as, Reply to those comments.
My only objective was to enable the kids to stay connected during their holiday break. Once back, I’d go into more detail about the different features and then get The Project – referred to back in my Update on pitching social software to Sara’s elementary school, underway.
We’re now at the end of the holiday break, and some of the kids are well beyond Status Logs. It’s also interesting to note, that these early adopters – 11 and 12 year-old kids, are following the same patterns as their elders. Back in an earlier post – How to be a hero with stuff like Twitter, Facebook, blogs, delicious, wikis and more, under Step 4: Getting Viral, I refered to Rubicon Consulting & Online Communities and Their Impact on Business: Ignore at Your Peril, where they found 10% of the community members contribute 80% of the content. These Most Frequent Contributors (MFCs) are second to word of mouth when it comes to influencing others. Which is the basis for my grassroots approach to social software adoption.
Out of the 34 signed-up members, 50% (17) are parents – none of whom, aside from myself, have contributed any content yet. Of the remaining 17 students, nine (9) have contributed. So with an introduction of less than a total of 60 minutes spread over two weeks, the student-MFC numbers (over 26%) better those in the above study of 10%. And that’s over the holiday break!
My guess, and hope, is that once school starts up again this week, and I start my usually Monday Lunch & Learn sessions the following week, that even more of the students will be contributing content. Once I layout the The Project Plan and dates, I’ll have the students present their own Lunch & Learns about their adopted Features. As their knowledge increases, my guess is their adoption will increase with it. As the student adoption rate increases, my guesss is that the parents and teachers will follow shortly after.
What kind of social software adoption rates have you experienced? Are they better/worse/in line with the MFC study?