Friending Libraries

Lee Rainie (Photo by Don Hawkins)

Lee Rainie (Photo by Don Hawkins)

Lee Rainie, Director Pew Internet & American Life Project, starting to discuss some new research on how people are using social networks. He’s already put up his slides on the Pew website. You can follow him on Twitter @lrainie. Now he’s mentioning hash tags and I’m sure hoping people will use #cil09 not what he’s recommending, which is #cil2009 (that’s an extra 2 characters). He’s searching Twitter on the hash tag #cil2009 to show who’s live tweeting.

Latest data (2008) on “internet is the asteroid” – 75% of adults use internet, 5% have broadband at home, 6% connect wirelessly, and over 53% use “cloud” (whatever that is). The ecosystem has changed in terms of volume/variety of info. Changes behavior of searchers. Plus, there’s more stuff (velocity speeds up). You can experience media when you want to and where you want to. Time and place shifting. You can dig more deeply into subjects (his data shows this is particulary important for health questions) but there’s also a contraction in vigilance for information (people set up more rigorous screenings). It’s continuous partial attention. Media is immersive — and ‘we ain’t seen nothing yet’ — think virtual worlds. Changes how people interact with media. Improvements in relevance will lead to “The Daily Me” (that comes from the MIT Media Lab from years ago). There’s more information voices and info is more findable. Half of adults are content creators, 75% of teens have. Voting and ventilating are enabled. You can make your own preferences known in the world and can add their own tags, ranking and rating interactions with institutions. Social networks are most vivid. People are falling back on ‘real’ social networks. When they encounter new things, they ping their networks.

Personal activitis and media have joined together. Institutions can be nodes in peoples’ social networks, be reliable information sense makers.

Behold Homo Connectus, a brand new species, which has different expectations about access to information, changes in place and distance affects how people view interactions with others. There are more opportunities to play.

New tech-user typology: He’s showing data Pew released last Thursday. Did inventory on what gadgets they used, actions they did with those gadgets, and their attitudes toward their gadgets. The latter is really important. 39% are motivated by mobility, while the rest (61%, if your math is shaky) are tied to stationary media. Wireless encourages content creation. The stationary group have technology as more peripheral in their lives (they’ve plateaued in internet use).

5 groups in each. Those who are motivated by mobility: 1. Digital collaborators (8% of population) lead the pack, top of the food chain, geek squad, cutting edge of technology adopters (the ones who are tweeting right now about Rainie). But they’re GenX not GenY. They’re influencers. (I’m looking at the people sitting in the front of the room with laptops open and we meet Rainie’s demographics for this particular demographic.) 2. Ambivalent networkers (7%) resemble group 1, but not so sure about all this, expres worry about connectivity and want to take a break from technology. They feel obligated to be always on, but they’d rather not. It’s younger, male-dominated, and texters rather than emailers. 3. Media movers (7%) send links all the time to snapshots and YouTube videos. Information sharing is social currency. It’s non-work sharing, though. 4. Roving nodes (9%) actively manage social and work lives using mobile device. They love email and are mainly women. Help them be efficient is how you reach this group and teach them about cloud apps. 5. Mobile newbies (8%) just got mobile device and its a conversion experience. Cell phone is central gadget in lives, but don’t necessarily use internet. They need tech support, how to materials, coacing and mentoring.

Stationary media majority: 1. Desktop veterans (13%) want to sit at their desks and surf the internet. All they need is a good connection. 2. Drifting surfers (14%) are “just not into it.” Their attitudes toward technology have worsened. 3. Information encumbered (10%) are really mad; they don’t like what technology does to their lives. Feel overloaded rather than extra productive. Minds blow up with gadgets don’t work. They need a hug. Offer them sanctuary. 4. Tech indifferent (10%) can take it or leave it. Might need basic tutorial, internet 101. 5. Off the network (14%) speaks for itself. They see no lifestyle improvements with technology. Newfangled stuff just doesn’t work for them.

Checking in with the Twittershere to see who’s said what.

Roles for libraries in friending activities.

1. Pathways to problems solving information – be validator
2. Pathways to personal enrichment – “most lovely thing about libraries” libraries as life enhancer
3. Pathways to entertainment
4. Pathways to new kinds of social networks built around people, media, and institutions – help folks build communities
5. Pathways to the wisdom of crowds, so you fill in your own future here …

Use hashtag to participate in new worlds of social networks.

Marydee Ojala
Editior, ONLINE: Exploring Technology & Resources for Information Professionals

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  1. Dysart & Jones » Buzzin’ CIL 2009 - April 8, 2009

    […] and exhibitors enjoyed Computers in Libraries 2009 as much as I did.  Three terrific keynotes: Lee Rainie, Paul Holdengraber interviewed by Erik Boekesteijn, Michael Edson.  Almost 200 terrific […]