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– 93% claim that they do their jobs more efficiently and save time by using IT communities to solve system administration problems.
– 100% of IT professionals who participate in online communities report benefiting professionally and 85% report benefiting personally from this use.
– 98% of participants believe that the information in online communities is typically accurate, although many clarified the importance of validating online sources.
You kind of wonder what the matter is with the remaining 7%. CIOs too busy to look for answers themselves? Ancient COBOL programmers who don't trust the Web?
I think one would find that other types of professionals, not to mention hobbyists and special interest buffs, aren't far behind IT people in relying heavily on Web communities.
That's certainly true. I often find the best way to track down something really specific is with a super-long search string incorporating stuff like error codes, maybe a phrase in quotes, etc. That will usually find relevant content even in a poorly named thread or a thread where the content is off-topic.
I think that 7% of IT professionals are lying
Or are older people who just don't think to use the internet that way. My father, who is a programmer, was cursing up a storm one day when I was visiting him. He was hasing a problem getting something to work and I asked if he had posted it on a board yet. He looked at me baffled and I had to explain that there are hundreds of boards for any programming language that you can think of with people who are more than happy to help. He had an answer in under two min.
My dad has been programming since the days when programs were written with punch cards. It just never dawned on him that complete strangers would be more than happy to help or would put solutions to their problems out for anyone to see.
I am willing to bet that 7% is older baby boomers who have been around since computers began.
[edited by: hannamyluv at 7:43 pm (utc) on July 27, 2007]
Lots of IT types are pretty strange socially. That's my experience.
I'm not sure that online exchanges are necessarily easier, though. I see more flaming online than in person.
engineer who says, "Yes, honey, that dress does make your butt look bigger..." is just being honest but is probably not initiating a positive social exchange. ;)
THEN, after making such a statement, he would proceed to give a PowerPoint presentation backing up his assertion with 14 slides of bulleted talking points and summarized data.