Hype cycle of Emerging Technology

Nik Honeysett has written in Musematic (a blog for your list of favorites!) an interesting post on the hype cycle of technology ‘a representation of the maturity, adoption and business application of specific technologies’, developed by Gartner.

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It reminded me (especially the ‘peak of inflated expectations’ stage) our discussions last semester on ‘technophobia – technomania’ and McLuhan’s Narcissus effect’: that we are often so fascinated by the new technological capabilities that we stand paralysed before them.

Nik makes a very interesting point: ‘Your number one problem is that your senior management are at the Peak and waiting for you to leap straight onto the Plateau of Productivity. Its a cliche, but managing the expectations of these people is priority one…’. This links well to the topic of our next session about the the role that new media play nowadays in the overall museum function and the involvement of new media professionals in the various aspects of the museum work.

The one thing that I am not very clear about in the above diagram is the stage of ‘technology trigger’: is it just the emergence of a new technology that triggers the interest and its selection? Surely, an informed understanding of its characteristics, a front end evaluation, as well as an examination of whether this technology helps me in what I am trying to achieve should be there in the process of making a decision what to buy. I suppose this would rationalise the expectations of the next stage.

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