Ofcom research identifies social networking profiles
There are several interesting points that it raises, so I’ll only comment on some:

The research finds that it is common for adults to have a profile on more than one site (the average being 1.6) and half of current adult social networkers say that they access their profiles at least every other day.

This comforts me. I have rather more than 1.6 profiles, but, if we’re talking about profiles that are *active* I’d say 1.6 is probably pretty accurate. I used to use Eduspaces a lot, with the threat of its demise I stopped using it quite so much. I started using Facebook a bit more, but don’t really like it. I’ve also got profiles on LinkedIn, and a few other sites – but I tend to not go there unless someone reminds me.

They’ve categorised users in 5 groups:

* Alpha Socialisers – mostly male, under 25s, who use sites in intense short bursts to flirt, meet new people and be entertained.
* Attention Seekers – mostly female, who crave attention and comments from others, often by posting photos and customising their profiles.
* Followers – males and females of all ages who join sites to keep up with what their peers are doing.
* Faithfuls – older males and females generally aged over 20, who typically use social networking sites to rekindle old friendships, often from school or university.
* Functionals – mostly older males who tend to be single-minded in using sites for a particular purpose.

Hmm… not quite sure where I fit; most probably “functional” – as I tend to use it for work related purposes. It’s just it makes me sound like a train spotter…

And the non-users in 3 groups:

* Concerned about safety – often older people and parents concerned about safety online, in particular making personal details available online.
* Technically inexperienced – often people over 30 years old who lack confidence in using the internet and computers.
* Intellectual rejecters – often older teens and young adults who have no interest in social networking sites and see them as a waste of time.

The interesting one there are the intellectual rejecters – which supports my views that we can’t just assume *all* (younger) students are familiar with Web2.0 & happy using it. Some just aren’t.

With the concerns that younger people don’t worry about what they post online

41 per cent of children and 44 per cent of adults leave their privacy settings as default ‘open’ which means that their profiles are visible to anyone;

was reassuring.

Newsround’s report on Social Networking today is probably as a result of this.

The full report is on Ofcom’s site

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