Demographics & Online Usage

As successful online communication strategy needs to be based on good data related to your target audience. Pew Internet, a non-profit organization studying internet behavior, has been an invaluable resource since 1999.
“The share of adult internet users who have a profile on an online social network site has more than quadrupled in the past four years — from 8% in 2005, to 35% at the end of 2008.” After the news that 60% of Twitter users abandon their accounts, this number is certainly to be taken with a grain of salt. The most common internet activities remain e-mail, searching and finding information on various topics and the news. So, a successful online strategy starts with great website content, and an e-mail notification system.
A snippet of the most popular activities among the different generations is shown in this graphic (click on it to see a larger version):

Quoting the Report summary:
“Compared with teens and Generation Y, older generations use the internet less for socializing and entertainment and more as a tool for information searches, emailing, and buying products. In particular, older internet users are significantly more likely than younger generations to look online for health information. Health questions drive internet users age 73 and older to the internet just as frequently as they drive Generation Y users, outpacing teens by a significant margin. Researching health information is the third most popular online activity with the most senior age group, after email and online search. “
The full stats are available in this report: Pew Interent: Generations- Online in 2009

Posted by Birgit Pauli-Haack

Since 1998 Birgit Pauli-Haack has worked with nonprofits as a web developer, a technology strategist, a trainer and community organizer. She founded Pauli Systems, LC in 2002, now a team of six. It is a 100% distributed company. Since 2010, her team has used WordPress to build new nonprofit sites and applications. In her spare time, Birgit serves as a deputy with the WordPress Global Community team, as a WordPress Meetup organizer and a Tech4Good organizer.