> This is insightful, Eric. The thrust of our justification to the Mellon
> Foundation was to help take open source from early adopt to early majority (on
> Everett Roger's Diffusion of Innovations scale). So while early adopters
> will want to scratch an itch I don't think the same can be said for the
> early majority. There are certainly consultants and self starters among library
> staff that will move the pace of adoption along, but what we also heard in
> surveying LYRASIS members was that they needed a location to find information
> about open source software and tools that they could use to evaluate it along
> side corporate offerings. That is the gap that this work is trying to fill.
I am fascinated by this assertion. Perhaps I'm just misreading. The technology adaptation curve I remember from Rogers and Crossing the Chasm would break down to about a third of folks finding themselves in the early majority. Much fizzles between the Innovators and Early Adopters, and the same occurs again between the early adopters and the early majority.
Are you really viewing all open source at the same point in the curve, namely still in early adoption? Even if one were to squint and apply the lens of Librarians being more conservative than average in terms of adopting new things (which I'm not sure is true profession wide) open source and Library Science at this point have a history.
Koha is in its eleventh year.
Dspace is 9ish.
This listserv is cruising about its 8th.
Evergreen is at least 5 years on, now.
VuFind is 4ish years.
There are certainly many more that belong on this list that slip my mind at present.
When one considers Johnson's arguments on innovation contained in Where Good Ideas Come From (Less scholarly than Diffusion of Innovations, but every bit as valuable in my eyes) the diversity contained here parallels the explosion in the pace of innovation elsewhere.
Marshall Breeding stated that "This year SirsiDynix and Innovative Interfaces were especially hard struck by open source competitors." in this year's Automation Marketplace. I'd argue that if the development were pre chasm, it wouldn't eat the established competition's lunches like that.
With all due respect, I would think that it would be fair to peg a large consortial entity or National Library at the right hand side of the curve. I think this ends up happening more often than not since there is a perception that if the wrong decisions were taken too early on, it would reflect poorly on a prestigious institution.