At the end of Microsoft’ Search Champ program, Liz Lawley called Robert Scoble an edge case because he reads 840 blogs. She did not use the term derisively. She went on the describe the difference between early adopter and edge case. In our house we tend toward early adoption, and sometimes I become an obsessive compulsive edge case.
Liz Lawley: So what’s the difference? To me, an early adopter is someone who recognizes the value of a new technology or tool before it becomes widely used or accepted, and often evangelizes it to others. They recognize trends before they’re trends, and are the ones who are always acquiring the latest-and-greatest technical toys. An edge case is someone who’s on the extreme edge of an activity, regardless of whether they’re an early adopter. Someone who reads 840 blogs is an edge case. But so is someone who reads dozens of daily newspapers, or runs 10 miles every morning. Their choices may influence our behavior–those edge cases are great at recommending things to others–but most people will be far more moderate in their behavior.