I am an Omnivore.
And, apparently I am among a group of technology users that make up just 8% of the American public.
No wonder my friends look at me funny when I want to Google everything, mashup more than my potatoes, and take a perverse pride in having blogged some obscure technology related news before they heard about (usually weeks later) on the Evening news. (I believe that Walter Cronkite and/or Katie Couric have something to do with that source of information.)
The survey was designed to classify Americans into different groups of technology users so as to determine which groups were most inclined to take advantage of information technology as might be presented under the umbrella of Web 2.0.
The report authors position Web 2.0 as:
“…the ability of people to use a range of information and communication technology as a platform to express themselves online and participate in the commons of cyberspace.”
The report breaks down respondents into several major “subspecies,” including Elite Tech Users (31% of adult population); Middle of the Road Tech Users (21%); and those classified as Few Tech Assets (49%).
Perhaps most surprising to me was the fact that nearly half of the adult population does not seem to be in the throes of the technology that pervades our every day life. Even among the “Few Tech Assets,” fully 26% classify themselves as “indifferent” or “off the net” altogether. What are they all doing with their time? ;)
So getting back to my classification, Omnivore, here’s how the Pew folks describe me:
Members of this group use their extensive suite of technology tools to do an enormous range of things online, on the go, and with their cell phones. Omnivores are highly engaged with video online and digital content. Between blogging, maintaining their Web pages, remixing digital content, or posting their creations to their websites, they are creative participants in cyberspace.
You might see them watching video on an iPod. They might talk about their video games or their participation in virtual worlds the way their parents talked about their favorite TV episode a generation ago. Much of this chatter will take place via instant messages, texting on a cell phone, or on personal blogs. Omnivores are particularly active in dealing with video content. Most have video or digital cameras, and most have tried watching TV on a non-television device, such as a laptop or a cell phone.
Omnivores embrace all this connectivity, feeling confident in how they manage information and their many devices. This puts information technology at the center of how they express themselves, do their jobs, and connect to their friends.
Who They Are
They are young, ethnically diverse, and mostly male (70%). The median age is 28; just more than half of them are under age 30, versus one in five in the general population. Over half are white (64%) and 11% are black (compared to 12% in the general population). English-speaking Hispanics make up 18% of this group. Perhaps unsurprisingly, many (42% versus the 13% average) of Omnivores are students.
Chances are, if you read my blog, you won’t find yourself listed anywhere near the bottom of this Web 2.0 hierarchy. But just to be sure — and to see how your friends and family might rate — check out the Pew Internet Quiz
. It takes just a few minutes and it might shed some insight into your Web 2.0 character.
Note: Even among my “Omnivore peers” I admit I feel like a Luddite among the Technological daVincis I come in contact with daily. This is perhaps why even though I know where a lot of the “turn off the phone and unplug the e-mail” crowd is coming from, I can’t fathom that 49% of the adult population is on the cusp of entering a phase where they will have less in common with their children than any prior generation. I mean, this goes way beyond Elvis…
What do you think? Feel free to leave a comment below and share your thoughts.