Diffusion of Innovations

In January 2001, the impeachment trial against Philippine President Joseph Estrada was halted by senators who supported him. Within minutes, using cell phones, the opposition leaders broadcast a text message “Go 2EDSA. Wear blck” to people on their telephone lists. The recipients, in turn, forwarded the message to others. Within an hour, tens of thousands of people had gathered at EDSA, or the Epifanio de los Santos Avenue, to demonstrate against Estrada. The electronic ripples led the military to withdraw support, and the government fell without a shot being fired. The Philippines story illustrates how a technology-enabled rapid (almost instant) diffusion of a text message galvanized a country's citizenry to mobilize against a corrupt political regime, leading to its demise.

Diffusion is the process by which ...

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