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Revisiting the Technology Adoption Curve


[Graph from CNET]

A recent Pew research study categorized adults' "evolving relationships to cyberspace" as:

Omnivore (8 percent)

Devoted Web 2.0 users of either gender, though usually under 30, who voraciously update personal Web pages, blogs and mashups to publicly express themselves. Likely to watch videos on an iPod or participate in a virtual world. Most social interaction takes place via instant messaging, texting and blogging via a high-speed Internet connection at home and work.

Connector (7 percent)

Mostly female thirtysomethings who have been online since the early 1990s and have a fully loaded cell phone or smart phone. They are happy to use the Internet, usually via Wi-Fi, from either device as a place to manage content and connect for work, community, family, hobby and entertainment interaction. They are twice as likely to blog or have a Web page than the average American.

Lackluster veteran (8 percent)

Been there, done that on the Internet since the mid-'90s and could care less about Web 2.0 or mobile media. Usually fortysomething men who have a laptop and a broadband connection. E-mail and cell phones are seen as essential for work for these users, and they surf the Web to find information, as well as e-mail to stay in touch with family and friends, but the interest ends there.

Productivity enhancer (8 percent)

These moderate users, likely to be fortysomethings of either gender with kids, have a positive view on what the Internet offers, in terms of getting their job done and learning new things. They like to use the Internet to stay in touch with family and friends, but you'll be hard-pressed to find them watching a Lost video clip on a cell phone or laptop.

Mobile Centric (10 percent)

Typically thirtysomething, you'll find these users' cell phones jam-packed with things like video clips and games. They, however, are less enthused about connecting via a computer and have been online only for a relatively short time, compared to other groups. Pew found this group to include a high share of African-Americans.

Connected but hassled (10 percent)

These users have invested in technology and connectivity but see it all as nothing more than modern "intrusive" necessities. Usually females in their late 40s, they are interested enough to invest in broadband accounts, cell phones and digital cameras, but they suffer from "information overload" and couldn't care less if they have lost access to the Web, e-mail or cell phone.

Inexperienced experimenter (8 percent)

Having the necessary technology and desire to join the party but unsure of what to do with it, these usually female fiftysomething users of above-average income are below average when it comes to using the Internet and cell phones. They probably have been online for only five years but have tried a little of everything, including posting a comment to a message board, downloading music or sharing photos via e-mail.

Light but satisfied (15 percent)

Also usually females in their mid-50s who went online in the last five years. They are satisfied with the technology they own and use but do so only occasionally and could easily do without it. While the majority have cell phones, they are feature-light and would not consider using one to replace a landline.

Indifferent (11 percent)

Mostly men in their 40s who do not have broadband, these annoyed users have cell phones and Web access but rarely connect. Their slow connections are "no doubt a barrier" to more actively using the Internet to pursue hobbies and share with others.

Off the network (15 percent)

People in this group, tending to be 65 or older, do not have a cell phone or Internet access. Some have computers or digital cameras.


More on the study here and here.

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