Sunday, September 6, 2009

Are We The First Connection Generation?

I have just finished reading the recently published book Connection Generation.

Iggy Pintado, a former IBM and Telstra heavyweight, looks at how Australians are taking to new communication technologies and their impact on our personal and professional lives. The book is a clear, simple read and valuable for those after fresh insights into how people are using social media.

Pintado starts by identifying a number of "connector profiles". These are drawn from his own extensive marketing experience plus personal research he undertook for the book. He claims Australians - and this probably applies to those elsewhere - fall into one of five categories when it comes to using new media:
  • Basic Connectors are people with low levels of technological take-up. They can be any age but are united by their disdain or fear of technology. They need to be thoroughly convinced that new communication platforms can improve things and it often takes a tech-minded family member or friend to guide and encourage them to venture into online media.
  • Passive Connectors have a basic understanding of the new technologies but choose not to make it a priority in their lives. When it comes to online action they observe rather than participate. This is hardly surprising because many people in this category have traditionally consumed passive media such as print, radio and television. In marketing terminology they could be classed as the "late adopters" in the digital era.
  • Selective Connectors understand new communications technologies and use it to share experiences and maintain their family, friendship and business networks. However they stop short of expanding the range of their connections which limits their ability to take advantage of business and other online opportunities.
  • Active Connectors appreciate and use the new technologies to develop and maintain contacts, assertively share their thoughts and routinely use platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Linked-in for commercial and personal benefit. They are the marketing equivalent of "early adopters", people willing to try new things and take on fresh thoughts.
  • And finally there are the Super Connectors. These folks are digitally light years ahead of the rest of us and on the bleeding edge of technology. For them an online life is as fundamental as using running water or electricity.
These categories may define groups but they do not necessarily limit people. It is possible for individuals to move from one group to another as their circumstances and interests change. Perhaps Basic Connectors are the most digitally vulnerable because the trend is for Australians to increasingly go online to connect their lives and that sea change is unlikely to reverse anytime soon.

And what exciting times we live in when initiatives such as the Australian Government's National Broadband Program, the schools laptop program and first stirrings about Government2.0 have the potential to transform us into Australia's first connection generation.

3 comments:

Iggy Pintado said...

Bob

Thanks for such a thorough review of my book and glad that you could extract some value from it.

Thanks again!

Cheers, Iggy

Anonymous said...

Great post you got here. It would be great to read more about that theme. The only thing it would also be great to see here is some pics of some gadgets.
John Kripke
Cell jammer

Bob Crawshaw said...

Hi John

Yes I could have included images that connect people. There are enough of them about aren't there. I'll take up your idea when I blog on similar topics in future. Thanks John.