These are a few of the categories the Pew Internet and American Life Project uses to group users of technology communications tools, going way beyond the "traditional" categories of early adopters (geeks), followers (most of us); and luddites (still without cell phones).
For you communicators, understanding where your audiences fit is critical to choosing the right online channels, and using them most powerfully. Pew reports that "85% of American adults use the internet or cell phones – and most
use both… Yet the proportion of adults who exploit the
connectivity, the capacity for self expression and the interactivity
of modern information technology is a modest 8%."
Your takeaway — think twice before jumping into a presence in Second Life for your nonprofit, and don’t give up the print 100%.
The research defines three groups: 31% are elite technology users, 20% are moderate users and the remainder has little or no use of the Internet or cellphones. But Americans are further divided within each group. The high-tech-ers, for instance, are almost evenly split four ways into:
- Omnivores (8%, mostly men) are heavy tech users who communicate creatively via blogs or Web pages
- Connectors (7%) view the Internet and cellphones as communications tools (mostly women in their 30s)
- Productivity enhancers (8%) see technology as a strategy to stay on top of their jobs and personal lives
- Lackluster veterans (8%) use technology tools quite a bit but mostly because they have to. The thrill is gone for these folks.
According to Pew, moderate users are split into:
- Mobile centrics (10%) — rely on cellphones for talking, texting and games; and
- Connected but hassled (10%) — who use tech tools but feel burdened by them,and probably like to disconnect once in a while.
Then there are the 49% who are technology lite (or technology non-existent).
I swallowed hard when I read that 60% of adult Americans don’t read blogs; but know that a significant percentage of Getting Attention’s target audience does so. But how do I reach the others, beyond the Getting Attention e-newsletter?
Pew’s paradigm becomes one more angle for your to analyze your audience segments, and one more facet of your audience personas. Remember, the more you know them, the better they’ll know you.
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