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Saturday, April 19, 2003  
Insights into the digital divide

Tristan Louis has written a blog entry that offers more insights into the new data on the digital divide. The latest research by the Pew Internet and American Life Project reveals 42 percent of American adults are not online. Like me, the blogger at TNL.net is curious about Internet dropouts. They are described at Wired.

But another group is gaining among the offline population. Seventeen percent of people surveyed are Internet dropouts.

They were online once but were tripped up by technical problems that have kept them offline sometimes for a year or more. And 25 percent are online now but have dropped off in the past for a lengthy period of time for the same reasons, the study found.

Tristan looks at the issues from the perspective of someone selling computers, software, peripherals or internet access, as well as from the perspective of non-users.

A question remains, however, on how to get people back. As standard marketing theory often points out, it is easier to convert a customer that has never used a product than to get one that has unsuccessfully used a product to come back. This is a challenge that marketers everywhere need to crack in order to increase overall marketshares.

He also has some ideas about the other groups of non-users.

Note: Shout out! Perhaps the best way for me to understand Internet dropouts is to read their stories. If you are a blogger who dropped out, blog about it. If you are a former Internet dropout blog reader, send me an email.

11:50 AM