Where Do I Fit? Pew Thinks I’m a “Connector”

So here is my role on the internet — a Connector: “Connectors combine a sense that information technology is good for social purposes with a clear recognition that online resources are a great way to learn new things.” That definition comes from the Typology of Information and Communication Technology Users by the Pew Internet & American Life Project. How close did the definition come to my view of myself? Here is the “connector” definition picked apart sentence by sentence.

The Connectors’ collection of information technology is used for a mix of one-to-one and one-to-many communication.
So far, so good. I use telephone and e-mail for a mix of one-to-one and one-to-many, and this blog qualifies as a one-to-many device.
They very much like how ICTs [Information and Communication Technologies] keep them in touch with family and friends and they like how ICTs let them work in community groups to which they belong.
Also true. In our highly mobile society, I have immediate family members and in-laws in four states, extended family in the space north and east of Kansas in the U.S., and colleagues all over the world.
They are participants in cyberspace – many blog or have their own web pages – but not at the rate of Omnivores.
One blog, one personal website and one professional interest website, to say nothing of the activities at my place of work. I’m surprised the survey didn’t ask about social networking websites, but I’m a member of modest amount of those. It would be fair to say that I’m not deeply embedded in the fabric of the social internet, so not calling me an Omnivore is probably correct.
They are not as sure-footed in their dealings with ICTs as Omnivores. Connectors suspect their gadgets could do more for them, and some need help in getting new technology to function properly.
Whoops, no. I don’t have problems figuring out (well-designed) ICTs. I always expect (well-designed) gadgets can do more for me, and I get personal satisfaction out of finding new ways to exploit them.
Their cell phones have a lot of features, and they also try new things with technology; more than half have watched TV programming on a device like a laptop computer or cell phone.
Who hasn’t watched TV-originated programming on a non-TV device?
Connectors, which make up 7% of the population, have a median age of 38, with a majority (54%) in the 30-49 age range. Ethnically, it is mostly white (72%); 16% are Black and 12% are English-speaking Hispanics.
Bingo — right on the money.
The typical Connector has been online for 9 years, which suggests they were a second-wave of late 1990s adopters.
Nope. My social networking days go back to the extremely cheap subscription that CompuServ gave my high school back in the late ’80s and dialing up a dozen local BBSs to exchanged mail. The pace picked up in college with exploration of BITnet (remember the “Because It’s Time NETwork”?) and I even wrote an early gateway between the Usenet world and the BBS Fidonet world. So I guess I’ve been ‘on the net’ for about 20 years now. Wow.
Most are women (55%) and they rate above average in educational attainment and income.
Not female, I do have one masters degree and had part of another, and a quite comfortable income.

So except for underestimating the length of my cyberspace citizenship (I don’t know how it messed that one up) and guessing that I have a problem exploiting technology (probably because my answers reflected a conscientious choice about which technologies to use), it did pretty well. Even without reading the definition, I did identify with the connotation behind the ‘connector’ term.

Have you taken the Pew quiz? Walt Crawford did, as did Jennifer Macaulay. Any others?

The text was modified to update a link from http://www.pewinternet.org/report_display.asp?r=213 to http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2007/A-Typology-of-Information-and-Communication-Technology-Users.aspx on January 20th, 2011.

The text was modified to update a link from http://www.pewinternet.org/quiz/results.asp?c=1 to http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2007/A-Typology-of-Information-and-Communication-Technology-Users/5-Connectors/Intro.aspx on January 20th, 2011.

The text was modified to update a link from http://www.pewinternet.org/quiz/ to http://www.pewinternet.org/Static-Pages/Data-Tools/Explore-Survey-Questions/Roper-Center.aspx?item={30AD36E6-E19F-4D89-9B7E-9A99146707BB} on January 20th, 2011.

(This post was updated on 19-Jan-2011.)