Yesterday I conducted my first two interviews: the first was with a woman who had graduated from college in 1979; the second was with a 2003 college graduate.
Now these are just two people, but they are real people who are in the workforce who are making use of technology tools. Here's their technology stories:
"Jane" graduated from college in 1979. She works from home and is her own boss. She self-reports to be "pretty savvy" when it comes to technology. She has two kids, ages 18 and 20.
- Uses Word, Office, Excel, Outlook and communicates heavily with email.
- Watches YouTube, when her children tell her to see something that's funny.
- Her kids have FaceBook pages, but she doesn't. Nor does she see herself ever having one.
- She doesn't have a blog, but she has read a few on sports. "I hear about people’s postings on their blog, but to tell you the truth I’m so busy that I don’t have time to do that. If I have time to do that I’d rather be working in my yard. I sit at my computer all day long."
- She doesn't know what SecondLife is.
- She plays some games on her computer (solitaire), but doesn't want to download anything on her laptop because she's "nervous about getting infected with stuff."
- She uses the web every day and uses Yahoo for searching, sometimes Google.
- She's taken online continuing education classes to maintain her various professional licenses. I take continuing ed all the time for all of my license. Most of the time I do it online. It’s so much more convenient!
- She's participated in webcasts for work, but has never given one herself.
"Susie" graduated from college in 2003. She works at an elite academic institution and self-reports an "extremely high comfort level" with technology.
- "Tries to avoid" YouTube, although sometimes watches things with her husband.
- An active FaceBook user -- she logs on in the morning when she gets to work and leaves it open all day. "I probably check it about 5 times a day." It's how she keeps in touch with close friends.
- She's never heard of Twitter.
- She's never heard of SecondLife.
- She reads a few of her friends' blogs to keep up with their families. Has just discovered Google Reader, so sees that this could increase.
- Doesn't play computer games, "I never go online to play." But then she admitted to being addicted to warfish. Of warfish she says, "it’s like Risk. I’m very competitive so I hate losing. It’s addictive – they send you an email when it’s your turn. The games can last 2 days to a week. Depends on how fast people respond. I play with friends." (Warfish requires an invite from another player -- talk about creating intrigue and a desire to play. If anyone can hook me up, I'd love to take a look. It sounds like a very interesting approach to gaming).
- Doesn't have her own Blackberry, but uses her husband's when they're together.
- A personal laptop is essential.
- "If I don't have access to my computer, I feel lost."
- Used BlackBoard in college, but found it sterile and not aesthetically pleasing. "It didn't encourage you to go on unless you absolutely needed to. I sometimes went on to get notes."