Colonies at this point coming it three predominant types
The boot strap colony is the result of squatters arriving on the frontier and setting up a homestead. Many of these make their living "farming" technical data conducting experiments on the colony world information exchange is the key value here as well as mining claims and exploration and salvage rights on precursor technologies commenly know as pre-tec.
The next most common type of colony is the corporate research colony which is the equivalent of a bootstrap effort only better funded and prepared due to corporate backing. Many bootstrap operations live in hope of a corp buy out and the credits it provides.
The last type is the faction/national colony effort; this is a grand scale development of the new world in the name of a political block, most of which are aligned along national lines.
Surprisingly the most common type of colony is not surface based but is what is known colloquially as an Orbital this space stations either made from locally mined and manufactures materials or bored into a large scale asteroid provide the most common colony environments and have caused a proliferation of archology type developments planet side as well.