How e-literate are you?

A long one, but an easy to scan one, today. The ERSC E-Society Program, based out of York University in the UK has released an interesting study that allowed any household in the UK to check their area’s level of e-literacy.

Using census data, the project discovered there are 23 different levels that the British population can be grouped into but I think that the same groups could pretty much be applied on a world wide basis.

Thanks to Antonia Luther-Jones, ESRC e-society Communications and Events Manager, Department of Sociology at York University for providing the break outs below and to the BBC for picking it up.

Group A: E-unengaged.

This group of people typically does not have access to electronic communications or technologies. Most are too old, too poor or too poorly educated to be able to access them and instead rely upon traditional personal contacts for trust and advice. This group can be further divided into 6 types of non/user.

  • Type A01 Low technologies
  • Type A02 Cable suffices
  • Type A03 Technology as fantasy
  • Type A04 Mobile’s the limit
  • Type A05 Too old to be bothered (didn’t a famous communications podcaster have a birthday recently?)
  • Type A06 Elderly Marginalised

Group B: E-marginalized.

This group is not necessarily adverse to the use of electronic technologies but often lacks disposable income to equip themselves with them, or the training and education needed to understand how to make effective use of them. This group can be further divided into 3 different types.

  • Type B07 The net; What’s that? (There can’t be too many of these left are there?)
  • Type B08 Mobile Explorers
  • Type B09 Cable TV heartland

Group C: Becoming engaged

ICT skills are generally gained at work by this group who are generally young people working in junior white collar occupations. They are keen to become more expert in the use of new technologies and many spend time browsing the Internet without necessarily making transactions. This group can be further divided into 2 different types.

  • Type C10 E-bookers and communicators
  • Type C11 Peer group adopters

Group D: E for entertainment and shopping

This group includes a number of moderately well paid blue collar workers for whom the Internet and personal computing provide important leisure activities. This group tends to use the Internet not for obtaining information about products of for learning, but rather to provide access to music, games and general entertainment. This group can be further divided into 2 different types.

  • Type D12 Small time net shoppers
  • Type D13 E for entertainment

Group E: E-independents

People within this group take a rational and considered view of electronic communications and technologies. They are not interested in mobile phones or the Internet as lifestyle accessories or as forms of focus for leisure activities and they do not feature as major topics of conversation within social networks. They do however use the Internet to search for information, to buy products and to undertake transactions where there are obvious efficiency benefits. This group can be further divided into 3 different types.

  • Type E14 Rational utilitarians. Yes. Very catchy names!
  • Type E15 Committed learners
  • Type E16 Light users

Group F: Instrumental E-users

This group use electronic technologies for purely instrumental purposes. The ICTs provide a practical method of saving time or money. Generally they use the Internet to undertake transactions and manage their personal finances rather than to explore. They generally have plenty of other leisure activities that they enjoy and tend to be light television watchers. This group can be further divided into 4 different types.

  • Type F17 Computer magazine readers
  • Type F18 E for financial management
  • Type F19 On-line apparel purchasers
  • Type F20 E-exploring for fun

Group G: E-business users

This group includes many people who use electronic technologies in order to run their businesses. Many of this group are self-employed and make relatively little use of the technology as a leisure activity.

  • Type G21 Electronic orderers

Group H: E-experts

Members of this group have every confidence in their abilities to undertake online transactions and to make full use of electronic technologies. They prefer online to interpersonal sources of information, often making use of personalization and configuration options, and make use of the Internet as an information source for obtaining best value for money. This group can be further divided into 2 different types.

  • Type H22 E-committed. For anyone outside the PR/new-marketing echo chamber, this may as well just read “should be committed”
  • Type H23 E-professionals


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