Understanding Communication Technologies
This chapter provides a brief overview of several theoretical approaches to understanding communication technology. The communication technologies at that time were Palm Pilots and digital videodiscs, and those were cutting edge. Communication technologies are in a constant state of change. The technology ecosystem is a useful framework for studying communication technologies. Theoretical approaches are useful in understanding the origins of the information-based economy in which we live, why some technologies take off while others fail, the impacts and effects of technologies, and the economics of the communication technology marketplace. One way to look at how and why people choose to use or not use a technology is social information processing. In the case of communication technologies, the innovation is some technology that is perceived as new. Everett Rogers defines characteristics of innovations: relative advantage, compatibility, complexity, trialability, and observability.