Monday, September 07, 2009

A New Direction for Step by Step

I'm concerned about the growing digital divide occurring on the Internet.  This blog originally had very limited aims, essentially to teach people how to use the Ryze social network.  My blog was a brave effort but the objective failed.  

I've not written here for over a year, because I couldn't imagine who the audience was.  However in June 2009, I did some research in Christchurch which allowed me to meet over 100 real live Internet users.  I now know who I'm talking to.  Let me introduce them to you.

Bryndwr - Internet Use Project

Researcher John Stephen Veitch - June, 2009

78% of households in this survey are Internet connected.  Of those, 81% were on broad-band.  This is a distinctly middle class area, of well educated people who you would expect to be substantial users of the Internet.

Age and Gender of 100 People

The 100 chosen participants in age order. (There were 10 who finally "refused" to supply data.)

Colour Key:MaleFemale
This table tells you about the age and gender of the most active Internet user in each house. In age order.
Percentiles 1 to 5
868484737369686867 67
67666564 6464 63 636262
616160 59 5757 57565656
55 5454535150505050 49
48474540 4039 38 38 3838
Median 38
Percentiles 6 to 10
36 36363535353532 3232
32 323231 3130303029 29
2928 282725252423 23 20
1919 18 1816 1616 1515 15

The median person was 24 when the Internet became widely available. In our sample there is a cluster of heavy users (7 people) aged between 50 and 40. (As a side issue the researcher, myself, is also a heavy user, and at 67, seems to be outside this framework.) There were 4 more heavy users 36, 35, 32 and 31 with no heavy users at a younger age. That information might destroy some commonly held assumptions about young people being more skilled with these technologies than older people.  

In the next few months I want to make available two short posts a week which I hope these people who I now "know" will be able to use.

John Stephen Veitch Open Future Limited - You may comment privately to John S Veitch using this form.

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