top 10 tech surprises

December 18, 2008

As 2008 draws to a close, top lists and rankings begin to make the press.  I’m always interested in some of the least expected rankings.  The 10 Biggest Technology Surprises for 2008 is worth a read.

Be sure to check out the slideshow to learn why these shocking stories made the list.

1. Windows crumbles. Not!
2. Tech couldn’t stop the financial meltdown
3. Virtualization. It’s alive!
4. Cloud computing
5. Green IT
6. Apple as the enterprise champion
7. Forget innovation, let’s just buy something.  (remember Microsoft and Yahoo?)
8. The big switch or the big snitch?
9. The social net election.
10. The Internet.

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I took the 2008 survey

Are you a webmaster, web designer, or information architect?  Do you make a website? If you do, A List Apart wants you!

The 2nd annual Survey For People Who Make Websites is aimed at anyone involved in making websites. The survey seeks to gain a better understanding of the jobs, salaries and demographics for those of us that work the web.

Thanks to Rob at LibTech Life for bringing this one to my attention.


Pew Internet & American Life Project recently updated their three “thermometers” of access which shows “the disparities among various groups when it comes to internet access, cell phone use, and broadband access at home.”


key findings:

  • 73%* of the population reports using the internet or email.
  • 78%* of the population reports owning a cell phone.
  • 55%* of the population reports using a high-speed connection (e.g., DSL, cable, wireless) when accessing the internet from home.

The data also shows that “offline Americans are overwhelmingly over age 70, have less than a high school education, and speak a language other than English.”

You can download the presentation from Pew’s Presentations section.

Pew Internet & American Life just released a new report which examines mobile access to information and data.

Some highlights:

58% of adult Americans have used a cell phone or personal digital assistant (PDA) to
do at least one of ten mobile non-voice data activities, such as texting, emailing,
taking a picture, looking for maps or directions, or recording video.

41% of adult Americans have logged onto the internet on the go, that is, away from
home or work either with a wireless laptop connection or a handheld device.
This comes to 62% of all Americans who have some experience with mobile access to information and data.

View the full report here.

a portrait of early adopters

February 22, 2008

The Pew Internet & American Life Project released A Portait of Early Adopters.

The survey asked long time internet users why they first went online. In the past it was Bulletin Boards, now it’s social networking. In the past users consumed materials from the web, today users are content-creators.

Some highlights:

Personal reasons drive Internet use:
50% of users first went online for “personal reasons”
31% said work was the cause
19% said school was the cause

Consumers have become creators:
Easier use of online tools and faster internet connections have made it possible for users to create and share photos, and create online content such as video and audio files.

A different sort of social technology:
Early internet adopters suggest they saw themselves as co-creators of the online environment.

View the full report here.


A recent survey by the Pew Internet & American Life Project reveals some interesting findings on where people turn to when they have a problem. More people turn to the internet than to experts or family members. Interestingly, this isn’t the case for members of Gen Y. The survey found that members of Gen Y are the leading users of libraries.

“The survey results challenge the assumption that libraries are losing relevance in the internet age. Libraries drew visits by more than half of Americans (53%) in the past year for all kinds of purposes, not just the problems mentioned in this survey. And it was the young adults in tech-loving Generation Y (age 18-30) who led the pack. Compared to their elders, Gen Y members were the most likely to use libraries for problem-solving information and in general patronage for any purpose.”

View the full report here.

online identity management

December 17, 2007

Do you Google yourself? If not, you should. You’d be surprised at what you find about yourself online.

Pew/Internet and American Life Project released a report recently on the digital footprints we leave online.

Highlights include:

  • Internet users are becoming more aware of their digital footprint. 47% have searched for information about themselves online, up from just 22% five years ago.
  • Few monitor their online presence with great regularity. Just 3% of self-searchers report that they make a regular habit of it.
  • 60% of internet users say they are not worried about how much information is available about them online.
  • One in ten internet users have a job that requires them to self-promote or market their name online.
  • More than half of all adult internet users have used a search engine to follow others’ footprints.

How are you managing your online identity?

CBC Spark’s Nora Young interviewed Mitch Joel recently about online identity management. Joel talks about the misconception that “if I don’t look, it must not exist”, but odds are that you’ll be there.

Based on a survey by MSN Canada and Ipsos Reid, “four in ten Canadians don’t know how to use the Internet to promote themselves or their careers”.

Things to think about when presenting your personal brand online include:

  • be selective about your email address (consider a domain name)
  • do an ego search (what are people saying online about you?)
  • have a consistent user name and profile photo across social networks
  • check often and update frequently

Opportunities for creating an online identity include:

  • create your own content (consider a blog)
  • start tagging yourself in photos and videos
  • “trust” is who you are connected to

Remember: “Your brand isn’t what you say it is, it’s what the search engines say it is”.