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Internet trends: marketing research & predictions

The ones who shape the cyberspace – PEW Internet survey in brief

May 9th, 2007 by

According to Pew Internet & American Life Project report ” 8% of American adults constitute the most active participants in the information society, consuming information goods and services at a high rate and using them as a platform for participation and self expression”.

In this survey, groups have been clustered according to their technology assets
(information and communication appliances they use), their actions, (how they use it), and their attitudes about ICTs (how they feel about information and communication technology).
Out of all groups profiled in this report, I have chosen to cover the hard core group which the Pew Internet named “Omnivores” (check out Cyberspace Shapers Questioner). This group is the most attractive one for marketers: here you find those who innovate, those who are the first to adopt new products and those to enhance trends. look them up! 

Who are those “Omnivores” – who actively participate and shape the cyberspace?

Their activities

82% of this group has undertaken at least 1 of the 6 following activities related to user-generated content:

  1. Share something online that you created yourself, such as your own artwork, photos, stories, or videos (55% of Omnivores)
  2. Post comments to an online news group or website (55%)
  3. Create or work on your own webpage (45%)
  4. Create or work on webpages or blogs for others, including friends, groups you
    belong to, or for work (40%)
  5. Take material you find online like songs, text, or images—and remix it into your
    own artistic creation (30%)
  6. Create or work on your own online journal or weblog (34%).

See graph 1 to compare to data of total internet users who have done each of these activities. 

More data on their activities:

  • 59% have downloaded video and two-thirds have downloaded audio content
    They remix this content and then post it to the internet (30% versus 9% average)
  • 57% have watched a TV program on a non-TV device,
    (nearly five times the average of 13%).
  • 84% have listened to radio on a device other than a home or car radio (compare to the 24% average).
  • 67% rely on their cell phones for most of their calls, the highest of any group and above the average of 39% for all cell phone users.
  • 86% take digital pictures and 51% of those who take digital pictures post photos to the internet (against the 22% average).
  • 57% record their own video (twice the average) and, 11% of these post their videos on the internet (highest rate of any group).
  • 62% play a video game at least a few times a month

Technology they hold/use:

Omnivores were found to be drawn to devices that help them manage digital audio and video content more than all other groups average:

  • 92% have a digital camera, 69% have a video camera, and 51% have a web cam.
  • 70% have iPods or MP3 players.
  • 47% have a digital video recorder even though they watch less TV than the average American.
  • 89% have high-speed internet connections at home, and nearly all (97%) have broadband either at home or at their workplace.


  • 68% believe IT has improved “a lot” their ability to pursue their hobbies or interests (versus the 28% average).
  • 69% says that IT improves how they share their ideas and creations with other (versus the 28% average).
  • Only 10% report  they suffer from information overload (against the 27% average)
  • 78% say they like that cell phones and other mobile devices make them more available to others (versus 48% of all respondents).


This hard core group make up 8% of the US population. 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). English-speaking Hispanics make up 18% of this group. Many (42% versus the 13% average) of them are students.

About the survey:

The Pew Internet & American Life Project report is based on data gathered through telephone interviews (conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates) between February 15 and April 6, 2006, among a sample of 4,001 adults, aged 18 and older. For results based on the total sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the error attributable to sampling and other random effects is +/- 2%. For results based Internet users (n=2,822), the margin of sampling error is +/- 2
Download full data results.

My points:

It sure looks promising! Almost 1 out of 10 American are people like you and me, and even more dedicated than us….
Taking into account that this survey was conducted more than a year ago (February 15 to April 6, 2006), we can estimate this trend to further increase. For instance:  according to technorati – since then the number of weblogs had doubled itself (see graph 2 for technorati’s data).



graph 1: PEW survey:



graph 2: technorai’s data for weblogs growth

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4 Responses

  1. Truemors Says:

    […] Americans regularly use technology to stay connected? Only 8% are really active. no score link spread Science and Technology 2 days ago byValleyHag […]

  2. links for 2007-05-15 « Cui’s Weblog Says:

    […] Blog Archive » The ones who shape the cyberspace – PEW Internet survey in briefTrendsspotting (tags: marketing survey internet) Posted by allencui Filed in bookmarks […]

  3. » Blog Archive » Do blogs suffer from a low reputation? US Survey and researchTrendsspotting Says:

    […] According to a recent Synovate/Marketing Daily survey, 8% of Americans currently run their own blog. Can we take it as a progress? Looking back at? the Pew Internet survey (conducted April 2006), 8% of internet users reported having their own blog over a year ago. Somewhat surprising, Synovate’s survey shows no progress in this direction. Another troubling result found in the Synovate research concerns the effect of blog reading on other media: Only 13% of blog readers say they spend less time with other forms of media (newspapers, television, radio) since they’ve started following blogs. Also – only 15% of blog readers report they read blogs in search for news. […]

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