Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Facebook and Geeks

Ars Technica is one of the grand-daddies of tech blogs. It's been around for years, and about a year or so ago refocused to become even more technical, putting some daylight between it and sites like The Register.

So it's safe to say that readers of the site know their stuff technically speaking and are up to speed with the latest sites, apps and trends. Ars have a poll on their site today to gauge the use of Facebook. I voted and checked out the results - and was stunned.

As at today, 36% of readers never use Facebook and 18% have an account but never use it. More than half of all readers are just not engaged with the dominant social networking platform. Why?

A measured response. This audience won't believe the hype. They'll take a look, weigh it up and decide if it's for them. They're smart and they normally make good decisions.

Time poor. Geeks work hard and then either play hard or disengage with technology. They don't generally have endless idle hours to fill before going home time, and have better things to do with their evenings (such as they are).

Trivia-intolerant. Much of what I see on Facebook could fairly be described as pointless drivel. The Ars audience has a low boredom threshold.

A preference for privacy. Technically-savvy users understand (and may even be paranoid about) the use of their data and profile. They don't want private information shared, and prefer to control dialogue rather than have it exposed to scrutiny.

Low sociability. Lets face it - geeks aren't the most sociable of creatures.

So why is this important - who cares if geeks don't use Facebook so much?

Because they're the advance guard. Exposed to technology more than most, they will actually be representative of the rest of the population in a decade.

Busy, clued-up, a bit cynical.

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