Even without any knowledge of the framework, we know the definitions of the following terms:
Visitor: A person who act on seeing something for a specific purpose.
Resident: A person who lives in an area on a long-term basis.
This tells us that a Digital Visitor spends little time online, and has an agenda for it. They are not bothered to create a presence on the Internet. In fact, they are somewhat fleeting, from different search engines, to different online platforms, just to complete their to-do list and leave the Internet, when things are done. They do not belong online, or on social media platforms. An example from this definition is online booking for an upcoming holiday, solely to look for flights and accommodation and afterwards, book the tickets as a goal. After achieving the goal, Digital Visitors will have no interest to stay online.
On the other hand, a Digital Resident tries to build a ‘home’ on the Internet. There will be usage of social media platforms to share information such as personal opinions, photos and conversations, making it a social space. It is therefore important for Digital Residents to have a digital identity that portrays them accurately, or the way they want themselves to be perceived. The common traits of digital residency can be found universally in bloggers. They generate content and maintain strong virtual relationships with their readers for their career. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter profiles are common platforms where it happens.
The differentiation between the two is that Digital Residents take their involvement in the Internet a step further than Digital Visitors. As compared to the Digital Native and Digital Immigrant model, this framework shows a progressive relationship instead of a contrasting one.
Picture Source: Visitors and Residents continuum, White and Le Cornu, 2011
In my opinion, one can never be deemed a pure Digital Visitor or pure Digital Resident, for it is a continuum. There is a scale towards where one may tend.
Take myself for example, when I want to go for a holiday, I go online primarily to book for flight, accommodation and attraction tickets, therefore a Digital Visitor. The scale is then skewed when I read articles, participates in online conversations and post details about my trip. These are characteristics of a Digital Resident. Therefore, the two terms are not binary opposites, but rather a summative definition after considering both ends of the spectrum. I do know that I have a dependency on social spaces on the Web.
David S. W. & Alison L. C. (2011). Visitors and Residents: A new typology for online engagement. First Monday, Volume 16. Retrieved on 30th October 2015, from http://tallblog.conted.ox.ac.uk/index.php/2008/07/23/not-natives-immigrants-but-visitors-residents/
White & Le Cornu. (2011). Visitors and Residents continuum. Retrieved on 30th October 2015, from http://www.jiscinfonet.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/vr-continuum.jpg
Connaway, L. S., Lanclos, D., & White, D. (2014). Evaluating online behaviors: A Visitors and Residents approach. Retrieved on 30th October 2015, from http://www.slideshare.net/LynnConnaway/evaluating-online-behaviors-a-visitors-and-residents-approach