Tech Terms “Meaningless To Many”

    October 5, 2006

Society may be warming up to technology, but that doesn’t mean the two are on a first-name basis. A Nielsen/NetRatings study in Britain proved that a large segment of the online population is still in the dark in regards to a number of “tech terms.”

Alex Burmaster, an analyst with the company, spoke to the BBC about the Nielsen/NetRatings findings. “In the relentless quest for the next big thing when it comes to new forms of digital consumption, there is a significant tendency for the industry to over-estimate consumer’s knowledge and understanding of the seemingly limitless new terms and products out there,” he said.

It seems to be mostly a problem (if one can call it that) of not knowing what certain acronyms represent. For example, VOD, which stands for video-on-demand, meant nothing to 75% of the people surveyed. No one is really blaming them for this, though. “The technology industry is perhaps the most guilty of all industries when it comes to love of acronyms,” Burmaster said.

The study discovered some other gaps in knowledge, as well. “35% of online Brits had heard the term podcasting but didn’t know what it meant and a quarter had never heard of it,” the BBC article reported. “Similarly with blogging, 34% said they had heard of it but weren’t sure what it meant.”

“Some of the figures surprised us,” Burmaster admitted. Also, “it is important to remember that this is a survey of people who are already online so the numbers among the general population will be even higher.”


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Doug is a staff writer for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest eBusiness news.