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More than 42 per cent of T&T’s 18-35-year-olds spend more than 11 hours a week consuming digital media. These are among the findings of a survey commissioned by Caribbean Ideas, the digital business solutions company which was behind the Caribbean Digital Expo conference, on the Digital Habits and Practices of Young Trinidad & Tobago.
Co-founder and CEO Chike Farrell noted: “That’s at least 1⁄4 of a typical work-week being spent on these channels, indicating the extent to which digital media usage is “always-on” for a large number of people in this segment. “This underscores for marketers that a key portion of their target customer base is literally almost always addressable in some way via digital technology, which creates important implications for marketing strategy and budget allocation.”
The in-depth analysis provides insight into how the digitally-enabled people spend their time answering questions like how much time they spend online, which social media platforms they frequent, what they do on those and other sites and more. More than 2,000 people were surveyed in March and April of 2013, with a primary focus on 16-34-year -olds, along with a smaller population of 35 to 44-year-olds for comparison purposes.
The recently released 2011 Census revealed that over 33 per cent of the nation’s population are between the ages of 15 and 34, which comprises the majority of the future earners and customer base for the nation’s businesses, making this an important segment to understand for marketers and business leaders.
Farrell said: “In the past three years, marketers in Trinidad and Tobago have increasingly turned to social media and digital to reach their target customers. They’ve been driven there by pressures to spend budgets more cost-effectively, and the awareness of the increasing time their customers were spending consuming media digitally (via the Web, mobile and social media).”
He said “the core insights that drove most businesses to invest more in digital were a general observation of shifting trends, and important, but limited statistics, like the growing number of Facebook profiles in Trinidad & Tobago and general information on Internet and mobile penetration. “The thing that’s always challenged marketers is getting deeper insight into exactly how young people are actually spending their time when they’re consuming digital media. That’s been a big challenge… until now.”
Other data in focus in the study included a dive into social media usage in T&T. This country has has been dubbed a “Facebook nation” in the past, and this platform not surprisingly leads with 97.3 per cent of the surveyed population stating that they have a Facebook account. Of interest to marketers and businesses, however, will be that Twitter and YouTube are increasingly important ways to interact with this audience, with 34 per cent and three per cent, respectively, reporting having accounts with these services.
Ramon Gregorio, chief curiosity officer at Lucent Research, explained the need for the study. “Where local media consumption is concerned, there have been specific phenomena of interest centred around digital behaviour, which marketers have been attempting to collate on their own using external sites for reference. “It’s always been very difficult to try to explain behaviour of specific local audience segments, by applying foreign statistics in broad strokes to the local market.
“The Digital Habits and Practices study is an attempt to bridge this data gap and paint a picture that is actually representative of Trinidad and Tobago.” This research study was commissioned by Caribbean Ideas and executed in partnership with independent collection and data analysis company SacodaServ, with results review and report writing by Lucent Research.
The study includes information on time spent consuming digital media, social media usage, most popular activities when consuming digital media, as well as sections on mobile data usage and financial habits and digital. The report becomes available for purchase from Caribbean Ideas on Tuesday and will provide local marketers and business leaders with a level of insight that is needed to add a level of local veracity to their investments across the digital divide.
Interested parties can visit www.caribbeanideas.com or call the company at 221-9782 for more details.