Who is "out there?"

The Out There Presentation (pdf) by Attention Company has been getting some attention in the past week.  They discuss the characteristics of people who are active in online conversations and communities.

The framing of the presentation starts from the notion of privacy.  Their claim is that the Internet has had a profound impact on people's ability and willingness to share information that has previously been considered "private."  Attention Company defines who these "out there" people are, and discusses some aspects of their behavior.  Their pitch is that they know how to deal with the "out there" people and can help companies form reasonable approaches to managing in this new environment.  In this sense their goals are similar to the many discussions I have seen about how companies need to respond to the growing body of employees who are of the "Internet generation." 

Attention Company's description of what "Out There" means:

"Out There" is a set of attitudes we now see emerging in society - one that isn't afraid to share its opinions, or make its mark. Its the world of sharing one's opinion, abandoning traditional notions of privacy, and making themselves heard. Organizations are going to have to adjust in order to meet the challenge of managing those who are choosing to be "Out There."

In the presentation, these people are more likely to:

  • Value fame as an "asset"
  • [be] Willing to share certain types of sensitive information on the web
  • Believe it is appropriate to criticize their organizations on the web

Being a person who has been "out there" for many years, these findings aren't shocking.  I actually attribute some of the privacy / sensitivity to tabloid talk shows and reality TV.  But their take on the data is interesting.  Essentially, they are saying that companies need to be cognizant that this (growing) group of people are more likely to be online, and, when they are, they are more likely to talk about things that an earlier generation might have considered inappropriate.

[Found via Marshall Sponder at Smart Mobs]

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