Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Study: Who is online, and what are they doing?

The Austin-Based New Media Lab gave us some food for thought yesterday. As book publicists, we are always trying to figure out who is online and who isn't, and we were surprised at some of the findings. For example: less than 20% of my fellow Gen Xers are blogging? What? Maybe it was it all that Nirvana and directionless youth stuff we grew up with?

More from the report:

Myth #1: The Internet is for Teeny Boppers

False! Extrapolating from the data:

- 5% of people over age 62 create web content (blogs, podcasts, etc). That means that in a room of 20 people aged 62 or over, at least ONE posts content to the internet.

- In a room of 17 senior citizens, at least one has joined a social network.

- One of every nine seniors you know actually comment on blogs and post critiques and ratings. Which actually makes sense, if you think about it: Who's more opinionated than Grandpa? You try adjusting the thermostat.

Myth #2: Tech savvy behavior is totally mainstream

False again!

- Only 30% of GenY and 19% of GenX create content.

- No age group uses RSS readers at a rate over 18%. (Odds are YOU reading this don't quite understand RSS readers either.)

- 19% more GenYers than Young Teens join social networks. This implies that the highest rate of social networkers is in the college category. This one will be a demo to watch closely, it WILL change over the next three years, according to NML.

So what can we learn from this, book publicists?

-Don't assume senior citizens are anti-internet. "Interwebs, is that The Google or something? You kids and your crazy machines!!" Dismiss that stereotype, and accept your grandmother's Facebook invite.

-Do pay attention to Millenials (i.e. Gen Y). Only 30% of them are creating web content, but that number will probably grow. Pitch accordingly.

-Do learn how to use an RSS reader (like your humble blogger did a few years weeks ago).

To read the rest of NML's interesting report, click here.

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