13 April 2009


The latest Pew Research Center Publication is called Internet Typology: The Mobile Difference (http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1162/internet-typology-users-mobile-communication-devices). Kerry Smith [Education.au, Dulwich, South Australia, Australia] summarized some of its findings on her blog, You Are Never Alone (http://blogs.educationau.edu.au/ksmith/2009/04/14/are-you-a-digital-collaborator/).

Fewer than half (39 percent) of the adult population of the USA are power mobile communication users. They divided people into 10 groups. Here are some of the ones that may impact how offer our library services.

Digital Collaborators (8 percent) “use information gadgets to collaborate with others and share their creativity with the world”—power users. Seven percent use mobile devices, but aren’t really thrilled about it. Another 7 percent look for information on the net and make it available through their social networks. Eight percent don’t have “robust” access to the net (e.g., broadband), but like their cell phones. Thirteen percent are net veterans, but use wired access. Fourteen percent have mobile devices, but don’t use them much and could live without them. Ten percent feel overwhelmed; 10 percent are indifferent; and 14 percent don’t use either cell phones or the internet.

Adding these up, only 15 percent of the US adults are real users of mobile technology; the other 85 percent would not benefit from our offering mobile applications. Now, where are you going to put your money?

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