On the 24th March, we celebrate Ada Lovelace Day. This is a day that recognises the contribution of women in technology and science. It is so named after the world’s first programmer – Ada Lovelace. On this day it is encouraged to post a blog about a women in technology and science we most admire. So who do I most admire?
I thought very hard about this question, and reflected on the last 5-8 years of my academic career. I looked at who has inspired me in exploring knowledge, adoption and use of electronic technologies. The works I’ve read and reviewed range from the work of Charles Darwin on Evolutionary Science, the writings of Plato and Sir Francis Bacon on Form and Knowledge, Marshall McLuhan in his media philosophy of the 1960′s, to more recent work of Innovation Theory by Everett Rogers and Technology Adoption by Fred Davis.
But if I think back to the early days of my research career, as an Honours research student in the mid 1990′s embarking on research about the impact of technology on Marketing philosophy, it would be the work of Prof. Donna Hoffman that really inspired and changed the way I viewed at not just technology, but also the socio-cultural implications/influences of technological developments.
In the early stages of the research component of my honours degree at Griffith University Australia, I was given a article to read by my Professor of Internet Marketing, Prof. Ed Forrest. Ed was a visiting Academic in Australia from Florida, and established a programme on our schools graduate programme on Internet Marketing and Internet Marketing Research. A programme that for the mid-1990′s was cutting in edge in the critical discussions we had in the classroom about the role of technology in business and wider society. As a research student on the undergraduate programme, I took part in these discussions of Toffler, Media Determinism and Network Complexity.
However the article from these discussions that has remained integral to both my academic and commerical work since that day was an article published by Prof. Donna Hoffman in the highest ranked marketing journal – Journal of Marketing. It was co-authored with Prof. Thomas Novak and was entitled: Marketing in Hypermedia Computer Mediated Environments (HCME’s): Conceptual Foundations. It was this article that raised the critical enquiry in marketing about technology-mediated communications and for me, the acqusition and creation of knowledge about technology – given their complexity in technical design, and situational context of application and use.
Prof. Donna Hoffman award winning and Internationally recognised research set the tone for marketing enquiry into internet marketing and digital media management and as the founder of eLab, an online laboratory for consumer behavior research and the Co-Director of the Sloan Center for Internet Retailing, her work not only informs academic enquiry through publication in top marketing and management journals, but informs policy for commercialization and use of the Internet.