The first phase of the Internet was about getting everyone connected. In this next phase, which changes the way we work, live, play, and learn, we’re starting to realize the value of those connections as well as the new communications and experiences those interactions lead to – the ‘human network,’ states John T. Chamber, Chairman and CEO of Cisco. So who are the users of this eroding technology, the hub of information called the internet?
Foster Research and Harvard Business School classify user into six group types. The first groups are called Creators. Creators are the folks who write blogs, articles, personal web pages, they make videos, audio, and music and post their creations online for the world to enjoy. These creators start the ball running for other groups to come in and begin the evolution of the internet.
Next you have the Critics, they are everywhere, but they too serve a purpose. Critics help to raise concerns, awareness whether it is good or bad; they contribute to articles, take voice to forums, and give reviews. With the help of critics businesses build trust and reputations.
Then we have the Collectors. Collectors are those who link with all kinds of RSS Feeds and raise voting scores on websites, pages, and other forms of content. This group trends towards tagging items and complying photos. With the help of Collectors both Joiners and Spectators are inspired to learn more.
Joiners like to find themselves in the middle of the action. They are the ones who are found on various social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. These groups of people not only like to join sites, but actively contribute to them as well. They help to spread buzz about brands, bring to light their experiences, and find themselves sharing personal experiences opening themselves up to their audiences.
Spectators on the other hand tend to like to read, listen, follow research, and be everywhere joiners are with the exception that they keep to themselves. Spectators like the view the action from the sidelines while everyone else is doing the talking.
The last kind of user are the Inactives. This group generally uses the internet at most once a month and each time they access the online world they transform themselves into one of the other five kinds of users. So, ask yourself this, when I am on the internet what am I really doing here? What are my goals for this session, how often I am on the information train, and how did I ever live without the internet? What am I trying to accomplish? Is this business or a pleasure visit? So often we get side tracked as to why we are on the internet. What I mean by this is, we go to the internet for one reason and our attention goes to something else. The best example is using the internet for social media networking for business and before we know it, we have lost focus and start falling into the category of internet user, as previously mentioned and never get accomplished what we got on the internet to do and before we know it, a lot of time has passed. Results….non-productive. Plan your internet time, so as to accomplish your goals.