Quotation Brandtweiner, Roman, Donat, Elisabeth, Kerschbaum, Johann. 2010. How to become a sophisticated user: a two-dimensional approach to e-literacy. New Media & Society 12 (5): 813-833.




The internet media require the development of new user skills not required by the traditional media. Current European initiatives focus on providing access to a PC with internet and ensuring basic usage skills to address the digital divide, while media competence is of less importance. Although access rates in European countries are quite high, this study finds persistent rates of non-users, because access and basic skills alone do not guarantee usage. The article presents a representative survey carried out in Austria in 2007 (N = 529) which illustrates the full spectrum of internet usage and its determinants, employing a typology developed by the authors. In addition to the continuing influence of sociodemographics on usage behaviour, location of access is shown to be an important influence on skills development. Furthermore, deficits in digital literacy can often be compensated by social support, given either in the form of emotional support during learning, or in the form of technical support. The authors conclude that to become a sophisticated user, however, requires guidance beyond merely attending computer classes or the assistance of relatives, colleagues, or friends, but is also a societal issue, if the goal of universal participation and integration is to be achieved.


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Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Journal article
Journal New Media & Society (NMS)
Citation Index SSCI
WU-Journal-Rating new INF-A
Language English
Title How to become a sophisticated user: a two-dimensional approach to e-literacy
Volume 12
Number 5
Year 2010
Page from 813
Page to 833
URL http://nms.sagepub.com/content/12/5/813.full.pdf+html


Brandtweiner, Roman (Details)
Donat, Elisabeth (Universit├Ąt Innsbruck, Austria)
Kerschbaum, Johann (Universit├Ąt Wien, Austria)
Institute for Information Systems and Society IN (Details)
Institute for Information Management and Control IN (Details)
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