Opening Keynote at IL2007

I suspect that if you’ve heard Lee Rainey speak in the past year, you’ve heard this all before. But he’s always cheerful, interesting, and a great speaker, even if the information’s a repeat. If it’s not a repeat, read on!

Opening day keynote
Lee Rainey, Pew Internet and American Life Project

2.0 and the Internet World

Lee Rainey knows we’re blogging this. And, lo, he shares some examples. Along with the time that there was a live IRC chat running behind him on the screens. “The intenet can be a snarky place sometimes.” Several great examples of how the internet is a reflexive and self-referential mode of conversation.

“I talk fast but my slides will be on the conference site.”

8 hallmarks of digital ecology
1. Digital gadgets are ubiquitous. Big, fat chart full of muddied arrows, going back and forth from gadgets to the web and back again. Also: Computers once stood apart from the internet. Now the web is a storage device, and the computer and the internet are connected and inseparable.

2. Broadband conneecttivity is at the center of the revolution. 73% of adults use the internet. Half the population has broadband at home. And broadband users are content creators – “They make stuff.”

3. Wirelessness is its own adventure. New gadgets make us all mobile users – up to 30+%, and they think differently. Much more likely to be building data use into the fabric of daily life. College students are living in the future, and 88% own cell phones.

4. Ordinary citizens have a chance to be content creators. The internet is tremendously different from the media that proceeded it – the audience is now onstage.
a. 55% of teens have created their own profile at a social network site. Only 20% of adults have done so. (what was that about living in the future?) Facebook etc is now the social dashboard for their life.
b. 33% of college students keep blogs and regularly post, and 54% read them. They are now so integrated into SNSs that they don’t think of themselves as “bloggers”, though they are, in fact, blogging and reading blogs. Only 12% of online adults have blogs, and 35% read them.
c. 19% of young adults online have created an avatar; 9% of adults.

5. All content creators have an audience – more users access content than create it. (Dude, his example for reading blogs? Dooce, not Daily Kos or any of the other “serious” blogs, to make a point that yes, there’s “hard content” and journalism, but there’s also just journaling and people and life being expressed online. Nicely done.) “Some kids are writing blogs for their three best friends and their two worst enemies” and don’t want it to go much further than that. (All unawares that you don’t get to make that choice on the open web.)

6. Many are sharing what they feel and know online, building communities and collective intelligence. Commenting, tagging, rating, etc… The online community isn’t just creating and reading.

7. The internet is customizable now. 40% of younger users customize pages, and half are on specialty listservs. iGoogle, Yahoo, Facebook, etc. (Note: request from student group for portals to customize library website.) “How much are they screening out? How much of the common narrative and experience are lost as they organize an information bubble that matters to them and their neighbors are organizing an information bubble that matters to them?” “Balkanization of information”

8. Different people use these in different ways. Men and women use the internet differently. Races, ages, ethnicities, social class, etc.
a. Tech-User Typology: Pew survey, asking about assets (gadgets), actions (what do they do?), attitudes about the preceding two.
b. 10 major user groups (9 users, one non user; tons of data in slides.) 4 high end groups, 2 middle groups, 3 low groups
i. Omnivore. 8%. We write about them when we talk about techies.
ii. Connectors. 7%. Like Omnivores, but not as gadgety, more communication-oriented.
iii. Lackluster veterans. 8%. Probably used to be Omnivores, but got outpaced. 😉 Don’t like being “always on”. (Tony Soprano: Didn’t trust his computer, so he shot it.)
iv. Productivity enhancers. 8%. Use technology to do the stuff they already do, in a more effective way. (Not for the sake of the tech, just for the task.)
v. Mobile Centric. 10%. Love their cell phones, less interested in the internet. Like the connectivity of their gadgets.
vi. Connected but Hassled. 10%. Invested in technology, but they don’t actually like it. Find connectivity intrusive. The big proponent of “information overload”. Google results (2.9 million in 4 seconds) is a hassle.
vii. Inexperienced experimenters. 8%. (My mom!) Late adopters, but without any real animosity. Will try it out if they have help.
viii. Light but Satisfied. 15%. They have some tech, but don’t want more. Tech is not a central part of their lives. “the people you have to call to ask them to check their email” (Aunt Pam)
ix. Indifferents. 11%. Proudly, as a lifestyle choice, don’t like this stuff. Have cell phones or computers, but they don’t like it and don’t need it. Proudly disassociated.
x. Off the network. 15%. No internet, no cell phones. Skews marginalized populations, and older populations, and female.
c. We’re far from the “mature phase” of ICT adoption and use in American life. Lots of tech capability is idle in our homes and hands.

NB: Where are the COLLEGE STUDENTS and 16 year olds? These are the people I have to care about in the technology location scheme – they’re my users. NOT my colleagues, who are elsewhere on the schema. However – worth encouraging my colleagues to take the quiz, so we can see how far we are from the college students and the 16 year olds?

What’s the connectivity do? It changes how we live and relate to each other.
1. Volume of info grows, and long tail expands.
2. velocity of info increases
3. Venues of intersecting with info and people multiply – place and time shifting
4. Venturing for info changes – search strategies, online, etc
5. Vigilance for info transforms – attention is truncated and elongated. Continuous partial attention (all multitaskers) and deep dives (good example: people with health concerns).
6. Valence of information improves – relevance of “daily me”
7. Vetting of info becomes more social, using community as a credibility test
8. Viewing of info is disaggregated and more horizontal. Allen Renear’s theory on new reading strategies.
9. Voting on and ventilating about information – empowerment re information
10. Invention of information. Content creation!

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