Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Let's get vertical

In my usual way of thinking, online discussions about (excuse some self-promotion) the Inland Empire in California and NTN/Buzztime are vertical interests, since most of the people that I have met online don't really care about those topics.

Most of the people that I have met online are talking about Twitter, FriendFeed, Microhoo, and related topics.

But, in reality, that's a vertical interest also, as Steve Rubel points out.

The first piece of research from Parks Associates (via Dwight Silverman and CNET) reveals that one-fifth of all U.S. heads-of-household have never used e-mail. Based on the conversations I had in Europe this past week, this is even more pronounced outside the US where high mobile penetration makes things a bit more complicated to track.

Meanwhile, a separate white paper from IDC/Nortel (via Jackie Huba) - this one spanning 17 countries - found that 16% of the information workforce is already "Hyperconnected" and that another 36% will be joining us soon.

Rubel goes on to say:

[D]espite all of the buzz around the growth of new media and/or digital advertising, neither will replace existing modalities for some time to come. Yes, Scoble, that's why Google News still rules.

And frankly, when I shared this item in Google Reader, I even took issue with THAT statement. Here's the comment that I left for Rubel:

Google News? What's that?

My mom emails me articles that she finds on AOL.

I haven't even explained Twitter or FriendFeed to her, and why should I?

Someone calling themselves "the threebillion project" put it more bluntly:

Digital media people beware. Not all people are like you, in fact they are few and far between. Technology allows you to find likeminds, but connectivity is not infectious.

In addition, we need to be careful about value judgements. Someone who communicates via Twitter is not necessarily better, or smarter, or more important than someone who handwrites letters in black or blue-black ink.

Something to think about.

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