Speaker: Nelson Phillips , Imperial College
Technological frames provide an interpretive mechanism for individuals to evaluate new product innovations. These frames therefore play an important role in product market evolution. But how are technological frames themselves shaped? Prior research has demonstrated how technological frames are influenced by consumers’ direct experience with new products and are informed by traditional media evaluations. More recently, however, the emergence of social media has resulted in the development of new arenas where consumers, producers, and other actors discuss and debate forthcoming product innovations by exchanging rumors and propositions. Integrating insights from the sociology of rumor and the affordances of social media, we propose a model of how online product rumor communities shape technological frames in a way not accounted for by prior models of innovation and product market evolution. Online product rumor communities influence product market evolution not only when products are released but also in the “pre-history” of product markets.