When designing a product or launching a new service, thorough research is invaluable. The more you understand about the environment surrounding your launch, the more successful you’ll be in delivering a product that’s wanted and developing a business model that’s sustainable.
But research can be expensive and time-consuming. Especially quantitative research. That’s why I was so happy to discover the Pew Internet & American Life Project. The site basically contains all the reports published by the Pew Research Center that relate to the Internet and technology. There are some 38 topics ranging from banking, families, gaming, race and ethnicity, technology user types, web 2.0, and so on.
For instance, check out how the center’s report on Twitter and social networking illustrates the digital divide between age groups:
Twitter and similar services have been most avidly embraced by young adults. Nearly one in five (19%) online adults ages 18 and 24 have ever used Twitter and its ilk, as have 20% of online adults 25 to 34. Use of these services drops off steadily after age 35 with 10% of 35 to 44 year olds and 5% of 45 to 54 year olds using Twitter. The decline is even more stark among older internet users; 4% of 55-64 year olds and 2% of those 65 and older use Twitter.
If you need some data to provide some insight into whatever web project you’re scheming, this may be a good place to start.