What tech type are you?

The CollegeWebEditor blog had a post back a ways about the Pew Internet Life & Project report, “A Typology of Information and Communication Technology Users”.

I had to track down the actual report again to figure out what my hastily scribbled notes meant -"elite omnivore lackluster cell phone converegence" is what I wrote. (Wasn't this in a Seinfeld episode with a joke Jerry wrote down in the middle of the night and then couldn't decipher?)

They did a daily tracking survey on 4,001 adults, aged 18 and older on their use of the Internet and released a 65-page report (free PDF file) and identified ten types of U.S. technology users.

Ah, but what type are you?

  1. Are you an Omnivore (8% overall) with all the gadgets and services (especially a fast connection), which you use to do all kinds of Web 2.0 stuff like blogging, having your own web site, wiki etc.? These folks were probably very excited about the iPhone and their median age is 28.
  2. They describe the next type as Connectors (7%) - ones with loaded cell phones, frequently online and very connected to people and communities online.
  3. The rest of the Elites are called Lackluster Veterans (8%). This not very flattering moniker is for those who are frequent Net users but less avid about cell phones. They probably thought the iPhone as more hype than anything - not so optimistic about information and communications technology (the report uses that ICT a lot).
  4. The Productivity Enhancers (8%) have very positive feelings about how technology helps them do their jobs and learn new things.
  5. Maybe you're a Mobile Centrics (10%) who lives by your cell phone more than you are an Internet user
  6. Connected But Hassled - 10% who have invested in tech, but find it a bit of a hassle
  7. Inexperienced Experimenters are 8% of the sample - they occasionally use tech interactivity, but think they need more experience with it
  8. How about that 15% called Light But Satisfied who don't see tech as central to their life but are OK with that
  9. and the Indifferents (all 11%) who may have a phones or online access, but only use them occasionally and could care less
  10. finally a 15% chunk of folks who are Off the Network - no cell phones, no Internet, probably older adults and are quite content with that old media from the previous century

What type would I call myself? Well, I guess tech-wise I fall into the elite omnivores but only because of all the toys and 2.0 apps I play with for my job and for my own reasons. But if they use that cell phone as the dividing line, I must drop down to "Lackluster Vet." Of all the tech devices, cell phones interest me the least as an educator and as a consumer - and that's not good because they are at the center of this current media convergence.

There's a part of me that envies the Off-the-Networkers. Isn't that what we call "going on vacation" these days? I've got the older adult part down, but I can't get content without my connection. (How would I blog?)

And how much of this is digital native vs. immigrant? I'm certainly a Veteran in that sense too, though I feel much more youthful technologically than the majority in my age group. Age is important. In fact, in the post I first read, Karine said she's a “connector” like slightly more than half of women in her age bracket.

I originally titled the draft of this post "A Typology of Information and Communication Technology Users" but realized in reading it over that only the Elite group would understand or care about that - and why would I want to cut out 69% of your audience?


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