Image via CrunchBase

Okay, I’ve just realized I’m totally addicted.

I’ve just gone through a period of winery clients contracting – great economy, huh? And while that was happening, it gave me the time I needed (away from writing their stories) to go swimming on the deep end of the social media pool.

As I sit and write this, I can’t live without Seesmic Desktop, I can’t stop following people on Twitter, they in turn follow me, and I wonder when my next friending will be coming in Facebook.

PR life – as I knew it one year ago – has collapsed. I now have to blend traditional media with electronic social media, and get it all done within my 12 hour day, six and a half days a week. Who the heck has sped up the process of living, anyway? When I was a teenager, I’d walk home from school each day – 2.7 miles – in the rain, sleet, and snow – and I loved the walk. I’d arrive at home to find my mother asleep on the couch taking her afternoon nap. I haven’t had that kind of nap since 1976.

I used to think that “Life is like an LP,” never mind a box of chocolates. (For those of you who might not know what LP stands for, it’s a Long Playing vinyl record). The closer you get to the center, the quicker the years of your life go by. While that’s still true, I have to modernize that thinking, and now say that life is more like a CD, because the spinning’s just so accelerated.

The adoption process of a new idea happens this way:

Innovators – They’re the first to adopt. They’re eager risk takers. These people tend to be younger and well educated. They also have many contacts outside of their immediate social group, and rely on other innovators for their ideas, rather than sales people. (3 to 5 percent)

Early adopters – They’re well respected by their peers (they are the “Joneses”), and are most likely opinion leaders. They’re probably younger, more mobile, and more creative than most people. They have fewer contacts with the outside world than innovators, and are the ones who are the first to “get” what an innovator has brought forth. (10 to 15 percent)

Early majority – They avoid risks altogether. They cautiously wait to consider a new idea only after many early adopters have proven it to be successful. (They are the ones who are keeping up with the “Joneses”). These are not the opinion leaders, they’re the followers. (34 percent)

Late majority – They’re cautious about new ideas, quite possibly older and set in their ways. They’re less likely to understand innovators, and less likely to follow the early adopters. They need strong acceptance within their own group before they’d ever consider keeping up with the Joneses. (34 percent)

Laggards – They rely on what they’ve always done, and are very suspicious of any new idea. They also rely on other laggards for their new ideas, which means they move at the speed of a snail. (5 to 16 percent)

Today, I just saw this chart that my partner Jose had put up on Twitter. It takes this above old school approach to defining this process to new heights… And, you know what? I just love it. It doesn’t only speak to a younger demographic. It also speaks to the cartoon inside of me that says, this is just awesome. What a great way to bridge the gap between a whole bunch of words above to this new, visually adorable version.

I know I’ve got to get back to my “old school” PR, but am so thankful for my new PR social media role with clients, because – basically – it’s fun! (Who can get enough of that in one’s life?)

So, get out of the way universe, because I have a lot to do… and I’m lovin’ it.

Once the laggards have totally gotten on board, I’ll be long gone and busy having yet adopted all the new innovations that have evolved. I’ll also continue to be thanking my Jose for staying on top of it all and delivering it to me. He told me a long time ago he’d make me a star, and that’s when he was busy making Tina Turner, ZZ Top, Duran Duran, Aerosmith, Hall & Oates, et al stars, as a rock and roll DJ. Lately I’ve been thinking that I know what he meant… He leads in this kabuki dance called “life.”

A great read: Spinning the Web: PR in Silicon Valley