Tuesday 8 May 2007

Only 8% of Americans are avid participants in all that digital life has to offer

Forrester gave us a ladder of participation, but Pew Internet have shown us where that ladder is standing in what they call A Typology of Information and Communication Technology Users which tells us that only "Half of all American adults are only occasional users of modern information gadgetry, while 8% are avid participants in all that digital life has to offer."

If you look into the detail they actually divide users into 10 different groups:

  1. Omnivores (8%)
  2. Connectors (7%)
  3. Lackluster Veterans (8%)
  4. Productivity Enhancers (8%)
  5. Mobile Centrics (10%)
  6. Connected But Hassled (10%)
  7. Inexperienced Experimenters (8%)
  8. Light But Satisfied (15%)
  9. Indifferents (11%)
  10. Off the Network (15%)

In a way this reminds me of the categories of users described in a classic book published in the late 1990's that attempted to address information overload, called Technostress - in this book they talked about Eager Adopters (10-15%), Hesitant "Prove Its" (50-60%) and the remaining Resisters. It would be interesting to see how the Pew user types map to a typical workplace.

Incidentally, Matt also highlights the digital disconnect:

"Using the internet is still an abnormal experience for most inhabitants of the globe. Their lives may be touched by it but they don't see it... We worry (or in some cases rejoice) that our societies are becoming post-literate when many societies are still coming to terms with the whole reading thing."

BTW For those of that have been touched by the Web, Pew have a little quiz to determine where you fit. Perhaps Matt could build one for his Web 2.0 Beliefometer?

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