Welcome to Tuesday, world. Or the last few moments of Tuesday. Hope everyone is doing well. Abbi is still trying to nail down those definitions of ‘sooner’ and ‘later’. 🙂

It’s time for a discussion on New Amsterdam Diffusion of Innovation (NA DOI). My apologies in advance if any of this is repeat. I didn’t go back and read my previous post, which can be found here:

Are we ready?

Let’s start with a little summary: Everett Rogers’ theory uses qualitative research which is information that can’t be quantified or put into categories. Generally this is information gathered during discussions or interviews with selected subjects. For his research on the adoption of hybrid corn, Rogers interviewed farmers who had adopted the new seed to discover when, how and why.

Up next, the first bit of qualitative information that came along. And the irony of it all is that it started before I even thought about working the theory.

The classic bell shaped-curve above is Rogers’ classification of who adopts an innovation. The innovators are usually the starters, such as the cast and crew and initial viewers. I will refer back to this graph.

In the beginning . . .

I started watching New Amsterdam from Episode 1. I loved what I was watching. About a month later, I offered a couple of plugs for the show during a team meeting ice breaker. The response was not good and I was surprised by the strong resistance.

Sometimes when someone encounters an innovation, their choice to follow or walk away depends on several factors including perceived benefits and possibility of change. People like their habits and if something is good for them, they’re less likely to try something else.

I couldn’t even get my friends interested in the show. One friend said she only watched reality TV such as The Bachelor. I tried watching one episode of The Bachelor. I came to the conclusion that all I wanted to see was one of the women politely turn down the rose offer, “I appreciate it, but no. I’m here for the vacation.” (Or publicity or ambiance.) 🙂 Not sure if it’s ever happened.

So the progression follows Rogers’ curve from above. Very few innovators at the start.

Zee Unofficial Research

When I decided to apply the DOI research, the best choice would’ve been a New Amsterdam fan group which I had joined in November(?) of 2018. I think when I joined there were about 800 members. The group expanded to 2k in February and it now sits at 3700 members. Rogers’ studies look at individuals who adopted the innovation so the fan group was an ideal option.

I saw this situation a bit differently. Talking to someone about hybrid corn is different than talking about a TV show. People can be touchy and I didn’t want anything I did to impact any already established viewers within an established group.

So, I went about it a different way. You might call it a bit of grassroots research. Abbi learned the subtle art of bringing New Amsterdam into the conversation wherever she went and if it seemed feasible.

When I asked about New Amsterdam and the answer was ‘no’ as in ‘I don’t watch’, I let it be. If ‘yes’ was the answer, we just talked about the show and I fit in a question or two to get to the why.

The common thread throughout the answers: Once they started, they were invested and didn’t plan to stop. The relatable story lines as well as the relationships between the characters appealed to them. Humor was a big positive. A few thought the show was very different from others but couldn’t say why. One person said they felt like Max (Ryan Eggold) set the tone for each episode. No mention of hope, though.

Some people who had said no to me at first came back and asked me about New Amsterdam. I provided the info but I failed to ask why they came back. And when the subject of New Amsterdam came around again at work in April, the tone was very different. Much more encouraging.

So, there it is. Abbi’s little foray into research without a PhD. Would I do anything differently? More numbers would be nice and that’s the problem with qualitative research at times. Many of the studies based on Rogers’ research were done after the innovation had been adopted by more than 50% which means there’s most likely still time to do more if I choose to.

Little Drummer Boy should be up next but it’s a hard subject to write about. Enjoy the rest of the week.

Embrace Hope.
Abbi 🙂

“Something that helps is to look at adversaries as people who are helping you do a kind of emotional weight training. Nautilus for your character.”

Anne Lamott on dealing with negativity.
From Almost Everything: Notes on Hope

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