Leapfrogging in Eastern Europe

Leapfrogging is not only for third-world countries. There is this relevant information in the NYT/IHT today:

A recent survey of how the Internet is being used in Europe shows that in some key areas, the east is ahead. It's a symptom of the "leapfrog effect," in which technology laggards skip a couple of middle steps that mature markets take, according to Alex Burmaster, European Internet analyst at Nielsen/Net Ratings.

For instance, a higher percentage of Internet users in Lithuania - 42 percent - access the Web from portable devices like mobile phones than in Britain, where the figure is 25 percent, the Net Ratings survey showed.

The same is true for instant messaging, looking for a job online and a handful of other tasks that the industry considers advanced use of the Internet, Burmaster said. (...) More startling, perhaps, are the survey results for online news. Eastern European surfers are more likely to be reading the Internet version of newspapers than the print version, he said, and far more likely to get news off the Net than Western Europeans. Ukraine, Hungary, Poland and Latvia are the four European markets whose online users are most likely to read an online newspaper, the survey showed

For reader who are not aware of it, leapfrogging is "the notion that areas which have poorly-developed technology or economic bases can move themselves forward rapidly through the adoption of modern systems without going through intermediary steps

The best-known example of leapfrogging is the adoption of mobile phones in the developing world. It's easier and faster to put in cellular towers in rural and remote areas than to put in land lines, and as a result, cellular use is exploding." (According to Worldchanging).

Why do I blog this? this is very interesting, now old europe is made up of late adopters...