Report: Most Aren’t Rushing Into Web 2.0

While most Americans are comfortable using the Internet, far fewer are
ready to dive into the latest, more interactive Web services — sometimes
described as Web 2.0  — such as creating blogs and posting
personal videos.

These latest findings are part of a study done by the Pew Internet &
American Life Project that surveyed 4,001 adults aged 18 and older in early
2006. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus two percentage
points.

The survey found that 85 percent of American adults use the Internet
or cell phones (and most use both), but the percentage of those who use the
more advanced interactive tools for self-expression on the Internet is a
measly eight percent.

“Two groups of technology users have a kind of ‘tech-gadget’ remorse,”
noted John B. Horrigan, associate director at the Pew Internet Project and
author of the report. “They have more than a fair share of digital
appliances. But they aren’t all that satisfied with the flood of information
or pervasive connectivity that comes along with these communication goods
and services.”

Pew researchers broke the respondents into ten distinct groups, ranging
from “Inexperience Experimenters” (eight percent) to “Connected But Hassled”
(10 percent) to “Omnivores” (eight percent). Omnivores are probably a tech
marketers dream
target. They have the most information gadgets and
services, voraciously participate in cyberspace and do a range of Web
2.0-related activities. The majority of Omnivores are men in their mid- to
late twenties.

In addition to Omnivores, another 23 percent make up the list of what
Pew calls the elite end of the spectrum of technology users. “Connectors” (seven
percent) are frequently online, have feature-packed cell phones and use Web
services to manage digital content.

“Lackluster Veterans” (eight percent), are frequent users of the Internet,
but less avid cell phone users. Although they were probably among the
earliest users to get online, they don’t see much benefit to the latest Web
2.0 services.

Rounding out this group are the “Productivity Enhancers” (eight percent) who
have strongly positive views about how technology let’s them do their jobs
and learn new things.

Only two categories make up the middle of Pew’s technology adoption
spectrum and it’s a smaller overall percentage than the other two main
groups. “Mobile Centric” (10 percent) embrace the functionality of their
cell phones and are more occasional users of the Internet. About 37 percent
of these users have a high speed Internet connection.

Another ten percent make up the “Connected But Hassled” group. Some 80
percent of this group have broadband at home, but they also find the
connectivity “intrusive and information something of a burden.”

On the less tech enthusiast side of the fence:

The “Inexperienced Experimenters” (eight percent) are one of four categories
of users with relatively few technology assets that make up almost half (49
percent) of the total respondents.

Pew identifies 15 percent as “Light But Satisfied.” While they use
information and communications technology and “like” it, they don’t consider
it central to their lives. The last two groups, includes the “Indifferents”
(11 percent) who may have cell phones or Internet access but use them
intermittently and find connectivity “annoying.”

The final 15 percent, who Pew said tends to be older adults, are “Off the
Network” owning neither cell phone nor Internet connectivity. They may have
computers or digital cameras, but are content with old media.

And probably aren’t reading this article.

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