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It is better
to not be on
the web than
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not know why

John Sumser

is more
it seems.
John Gall


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Tech Elite

(November 25, 2003) - It all started with a conversation with Mom. Our oldest daughter is trekking in the remote regions of Mali (West Africa). For months, she's been suffering the terrible inconvenience of having to travel three hours to the nearest dialup connection. (It's another three hours to a broadband connection.)

Anyhow, we were showing Mom a website of photos from the African adventure. In the typical phone demo mode, we guided her to a URL and started talking about navigation. Mom is a pretty sophisticated user of email and orders stuff regularly from Amazon. She's anything but technically illiterate.

Without detailing all of the frustration in that technical conversation, we were amazed, after failing to help her find Back and forward arrows in her browser (what's that?), at one small episode. "Use the right side of your mouse," we said, "it will have a context sensitive menu." "I didn't know you could do that," came the reply.

Mom has been regularly using the internet for six or seven (and maybe even 10) years.

There is a trendsetting technology elite in the U.S. who chart the course for the use of information goods and services. This group is 31% of the overall population. 1/5 are under 22, 3/5 are Gen Xers, 1/5 are older baby boomers.

This tech elite is responsible for the specification and acquisition of enterprise software. They are the trendsetters who determine the progress of technology both inside and outside the organization.

The other 69% of the population are not a part of the group. They are the reason that software installations fail. The tech elite rarely consults them when looking to improve the existing process or make an acquisition. The elite assume that everyone knows how to use the right button on the mouse.

A lack of time, interest, and money seems to drive the relative tech apathy of this fairly diverse crowd. Some are young and seem to have neither the time nor the disposable income to dabble in cutting-edge technologies. Others appear to be devoting their energies to jobs and families, and therefore don't immerse themselves in technology. The rest of those who are not ardently engaged with technology are older, mostly women who have lower incomes and are comfortable using older technology and media to get and exchange information.
- From Pew Study

Things are, as we've been saying, changing very rapidly. For the first time in history, the overall number of landlines has decreased. Phones with cameras built in are the fastest selling new technology ever. In some population groups, television is considered less important than an internet connection. Only 19% of Americans say they would find it hard to give up the newspaper and only 13% say it would be difficult to give up their favorite magazine.

A new report from the PEW Internet group looks at these phenomenon and discovers the following niches in the American population:

The Tech Elite:

The other 69%

Effective online recruiting, software installations that work and general marketplace success will emerge from a clear understanding of the needs and motivations of the other 69%.

John Sumser

Generalist Candidates visit Generalist Boards.
Top Candidates visit Top Specialty Job Boards, including:

For more Specialty Boards, visit:
Employer's Corner on TopUSAJobs.com


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Materials written by John Sumser © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.
Mill Valley, CA 94941

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