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« Bucking the system | Main | Jericho: When nuts aren't enough »

March 21, 2008

Welcome to our new site, plus free data about consumers' social behaviors around the world

by Josh Bernoff

Groundswell_book_2 As you can see, we've made a few changes here at the Groundswell blog. As the availability of our book inches ever closer (about two weeks away now) we've put the blog in the context of a broader site with a whole bunch of goodies for you.

Feel free to browse around, but I'd like to draw your attention to one key feature: a free data tool about consumers around the world and their behavior around social technologies.

You may recall that we group people in the social world into six overlapping groups: Creators, Critics, Collectors, Joiners, Spectators, and Inactives. We show these groups as steps on a ladder based on their increasing levels of participation in social technologies. (We've conducted more surveys and refined our definitions since our original post on this topic almost a year ago.) Basically, you're in a group if you participate in one of the behaviors shown in this graphic on that rung, at least once a month.


Now comes the fun part. Forrester painstakingly collects data from countries on four continents: North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. And we can calculate the Social Technographics Profile -- basically, the level of social participation -- for any group of people we can identify in any of those countries.

Free_data_toolChapter 3 in the book is filled with these profiles and we show throughout how they drive strategy, but we wanted to give you a chance to see what we've seen -- just how diverse the world is and how profiles vary based on the country, age, and gender of the participants.

If you play around with this tool, you'll soon see that, as you would expect, there's an inverse relationship between age and level of participation. But would you have guessed that 33% of people in the US age 55 or older are connecting with social applications in some way? Because they are.

Why are the differences between men and women's participation so much greater among people aged 25-34 than among those that are younger? Will those gender differences go away as the Millenials get older?

You might notice that 41% of Koreans are Joiners -- members of social networks -- more than anywhere else in the world.

Or that in Metro China (we survey a subset of people in Chinese cities) 36% of people are Creators, creating blogs, maintaining content, or uploading video or music. That's an amazing level of participation.

It's very expensive to collect this data. Why are we giving it away for free? Because we wanted to give you a taste of how real data can open up insights into people's behavior, and to think about it in some of the ways we think about it.

And if you're looking for a group not shown here -- like Toyota owners in the US, or people with Fujitsu PCs in Japan, we've probably got that, too. Go ahead. Ask us.

I'm looking forward to your reactions.

P.S. If you hit a "No Data Available" message, that just means you've asked for a slice of our data so thin we can't show a valid answer. Just set the Age dropdown back to "Not Specified" and you'll see data for the country you've asked about.


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Hey Charlene, this is great work!

I was wondering if the social technographics profile tool is sharable so I could put it also in my blog in a short piece I would like to write for my Greek audience.

Thank you.


Adam Metz

Last night, Jeremiah Owyang was telling me that this book was the next step, going beyond "Naked Conversations." After reading this, I'm really beginning to believe him.

Anne Pauker Kreitzberg

Very thoughtfully done, and a great contribution to the field. It will be very interesting to watch these stats shift over time. Raises lots of neat questions for further inquiry down the line.

Josh Bernoff


Sorry, this is not an embeddable application. You'll have to provide a link to the site.

Gretchen Alarcon

I'm interested to see how populations shift on the ladder over time. I think we are still on the early side of the adoption curve for many of these technologies. Great content!

Search Engine Optimization Journal

Looks like a pretty great tool! @Nikos -- Couldn't you maybe take a screenshot of it and just make sure you link back? Or would that not be good for Groundswell?


I would definitely link back here. Just wanted to have it as a working tool for my audience that keeps coming to my site.

Nevermind, its still fine the way it is.

Rick Clancy

Just started reading an advance copy of the book. Interesting to be seen as a "symbol."

Still blogging away at www.sony.com/electronicsblog.Have plans to build upon and diversify in the year ahead.

So far so good.

Thanks for your sage advice. All the best,


Scott Quick

Great work!


I checked your «Build Your Customers' Social Technographics Profile Now». What about Canada statistics?

It should be interesting to be a part of it.


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