Friday, February 22, 2008

I'm an Omnivore

I don't usually do the meme thing on my blog, but after reading my colleague Sarah's post, I decided to jump in. Upon completing the Pew Internet & American Life Internet Typology test, I learned that I'm an omnivore:

Omnivores make up 8% of the American public.

Basic Description
Members of this group use their extensive suite of technology tools to do an enormous range of things online, on the go, and with their cell phones. Omnivores are highly engaged with video online and digital content. Between blogging, maintaining their Web pages, remixing digital content, or posting their creations to their websites, they are creative participants in cyberspace.

Defining Characteristics
You might see them watching video on an iPod. They might talk about their video games or their participation in virtual worlds the way their parents talked about their favorite TV episode a generation ago. Much of this chatter will take place via instant messages, texting on a cell phone, or on personal blogs. Omnivores are particularly active in dealing with video content. Most have video or digital cameras, and most have tried watching TV on a non-television device, such as a laptop or a cell phone.

Omnivores embrace all this connectivity, feeling confident in how they manage information and their many devices. This puts information technology at the center of how they express themselves, do their jobs, and connect to their friends.

Who They Are
They are young, ethnically diverse, and mostly male (70%). The median age is 28; just more than half of them are under age 30, versus one in five in the general population. Over half are white (64%) and 11% are black (compared to 12% in the general population). English-speaking Hispanics make up 18% of this group. Perhaps unsurprisingly, many (42% versus the 13% average) of Omnivores are students.

Initially I was surprised that this group is mostly male (70%). Then again, when I think about all the years I've worked in IT, it's really not so surprising. I can't begin to count the number of IT meetings I've attended on campus where there were only two or three women in an auditorium full of guys. I've been out of school for almost ten years (a scary thought--which also makes it obvious that I am slightly over the median age). During that time I haven't noticed a significant increase in women in IT, but maybe that will change as the millennials continue to join us in the workplace.

Anyway, take the test and see where you fit.

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