A new study shows that although people in Britain are into their gadgets and new technology, they aren’t necessarily fluent with the tech-speak that is second nature to those who work and report on consumer technology.
Nielsen/NetRatings discovered that although 40% of Brits online use RSS feeds, 67% didn’t know that the acronym stands for Really Simple Syndication. Many people are clueless as to what “podcasting” and “wiki” means; 35% of those surveyed had heard the term, but didn’t know what it meant, while a shocking 25% hadn’t ever heard the term.
Blogging, which has its own little blogosphere of culture, is a mystery to 34% who had heard the term but didn’t know what it entailed.
Other statistics show that acronyms give people the most trouble, with three-quarters of those surveyed not understanding that VOD stands for video-on-demand, and almost 70% not realising that PVRs are personal video recorders. Strangely, more than half of those surveyed didn’t know that IM stood for instant messaging or instant messenger.
“There is a certain level of knowledge snobbery in so far as if you talk in acronyms you sound like you really know what you’re talking about, and if others don’t understand then they are seen in some way as inferior”, said Alex Burmaster, analyst at Nielsen/NetRatings.
And although many believe the iPod to be ubiquitous, this particular survey showed that only 20% of people who owned MP3 players (68% of the total) had chosen to buy iPods. Burmaster points out that the survey focused on internet users, and that they may favour players not locked into Apple’s DRM.
That’s Digital Rights Management, for those of you baffled by tech acronyms.