Social Technographs Ladder updated

A few days ago Groundswell author Josh Bernoff posted an updated version of the Social Technographics Ladder, the method to catogorize the activities intensity levels for Internet users on the participatory online space. With the update also came a change to include Twitter as a microblogging environment of it’s own kind, that seems to change engagement levels, in the eyes of Josh Bernoff.

The Social Technographics Ladder was first published in April 2007 introducing the concept and the first % for the various levels of activities on the Web 2.0 environment. The participatory online space covers sites that allow user generated content, such as the whole blog-o-spere, review sites like Yelp, content sharing sites, like Flickr, YouTube, social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, online forums, wikis and usage of aggregation and syndication.

The levels were:

  • Inactives, 
  • Spectators,
  • Joiners, 
  • Collectors, 
  • Critics, 
  • Creators.

Bernoff and Li stressed that these categories are not exclusive. There are overlaps and depending on the site and interest of the user, individuals move up and down the ladder. “People participate in multiple behaviors, and not everyone at a higher level on the ladder actually does everything in the lower rungs.” writes Josh Bernoff. This month’s announcement added the “Conversationalists” between the Critics and Creators, which makes it harder to compare previous published data and follow progression. The Internet space does not stay still. Or does it? It seems that the Inactives are subsiding from almost half to a sixth of the online adult population. Almost every one got the bug and the buzz. The Spectators seem to have reached the plateau around 70% and so have the Creators around 25%.
The levels in between are fluid and with introducing a new category, are also not quite helpful any more. This Ladder seems to have run it’s course. 
It was interesting to watch the development over the last 3.5 years, when the socialnet, Web 2.0 finally went mainstream in about six, seven years of coming.

Below graphic shows the various activity levels in their development from April 2007 to October 2009 and January 2010.


Updated data was provided in October 2008

Expanded & updated data January 2010

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.