5 April 2009

The rise of the mobile divides

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putting people first
by experientia

Rich Ling
Rich Ling is a sociologist at the Telenor research institute and a visiting professor at the IT University of Copenhagen, who is particularly interested in understanding the social implications of mobile telephony.

He just posted a short paper on the rise of mobile divides, that discusses the differences between the power users in advanced countries that use a lot of IP stuff, the user in the third world and the sort of soccer mom/dad user that is somewhere in the middle.

A lot of attention goes to the first group but the real base of use is often among the other two.

“[The advanced and technically sophisticated super user] is a legitimate object of study. However, it is very important to note that this type of user is a relatively small portion of the total user base. It seems to be very exciting to focus design and development work around this type of person. This is, however, a fallacy. This type of user is very atypical and, as we will see below, does not represent the broader form of mobile use.”

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(via Jody Ranck)

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