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The Internet

2001 UCLA Internet Census 129

Merry_B.Buck writes: "UCLA's Center for Communication Policy has finished its second annual survey on Internet usage. Some interesting claims: online shoppers believe prices are lower in brick-and-mortar stores, and experienced Interneters are less likely to use chatrooms, play games, and download music than their newbie counterparts. An unrelated report from Forrester Research claims that Internet newcomers tend to gather at LookSmart and MSN portals, while old-timers prefer InfoSpace and Yahoo. [I'm suspicious of both surveys -- neither had a Cowboy Neal option.]"
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2001 UCLA Internet Census

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  • Price (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Jonathan ( 5011 ) on Sunday December 09, 2001 @06:37PM (#2679623) Homepage
    Having a lower price isn't really the advantage of Internet shopping -- the point is that brick-and-mortar stores quite often don't have the products you want. I simply can't find the books, movies, or CDs I want to buy locally, so I buy on-line.
    • I would argue that lower prices are found on the internet. It's a real hassle to comparison shop in lots of brick and mortar stores, but to check a couple of websites... piece of cake!

    • Re:Price (Score:3, Funny)

      by Lars T. ( 470328 )
      And on behalf of all the privacy paranoids out there: they don't know who bought what.
    • I did almost all of my Christmas shopping at Amazon this year. I got in when they where doing their free shipping deal. It works out great for me because I was able to find items that I think people would like and I didn't have to spend hours (days?) stuck in some horrid mall. The prices are fairly competitive, and with the no tax/free shipping combo, it's hard to beat.

      I had all of the presents wrapped and sent to my parent's house. It's much better than having to deal with bringing packages cross-country. When I go home for Christmas all of the presents from me will already be under the tree and I will have more time to spend doing other stuff.

  • I used to use Yahoo exclusively until they started placing search results higher for pay. Now I use Google, and will until they start doing the same.
  • Niche Market (Score:2, Interesting)

    by kawaichan ( 527006 )
    Online will always be serving the niche market, not the mainstream, I mean I rather drive down to the nearest futureshop to get my stuff rather ording it online and have to wait for it.

    If oldies don't download music, p0rn, what do we do? paying 40 bucks a month just for slashdot?

    I personally don't use any of those crappy portals, Google all the way!!!
    • paying 40 bucks a month just for slashdot?

      Well, yeah. It's about the only site I really frequent while at home on my DSL connection.

      But seriously, I typically use it for ftping ISOs of new linux distributions and CVS.
    • Future shop has got to be one of the worst places to buy anything. If you look even somewhat at any prices that aren't in thier flyers, and you'll see what a rip off they are. The sales people are all commission driven and nag and chip away at you. If i see a good deal on CD-Rs i'm usually asked by 2 or 3 people to get to buy a damn computer and they don't stop at using every dirty trick in the book to get a sale!
      If you are buying a brand name product(like a logitech mouse or something) then you can't really go wrong if its cheaper there, but thier computers are SHIT. They are all integrated with some of the worst computer components out there. I've seen some fucked up mobo/CPU combos coming from computers from that store!
    • I'm the exact opposite. I'd rather order it from home and get it in two-three days than piss around with traffic, bad store layout, sales-drones, crowds, and out-of-stock goods.

      I figure I not only gain the time that comes from avoiding all those things, I also add a few hours on to my life by avoiding the stress.

      Plus, I don't impulse shop as much.
  • Charts? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by The Great Wakka ( 319389 ) on Sunday December 09, 2001 @06:41PM (#2679638) Homepage Journal
    One of the charts looks like this, I kid you not...

    All of the different education levels rose in percentage from 2000 to 2001! Apparently in 2001 381.7% of people on the internet had some level of education... hmm...
  • by Starship Trooper ( 523907 ) on Sunday December 09, 2001 @06:44PM (#2679646) Homepage Journal
    because it's the default homepage for Internet Explorer, and as we all know, 90% of people don't bother to change their defaults. I wonder how many of those MSN hits are people who actually stay on the site, compared to those who just let IE load it up on startup then immediately go somewhere else.
    • because it's the default homepage for Internet Explorer, and as we all know, 90% of people don't bother to change their defaults Unless you buy your computer from an OEM, such as HP, which sets their startup page to a yahoo based, but HP customized portal.
      • Unless you buy your computer from an OEM,

        Which lasts until the first time the user upgrades their IE, Office, or Windows version - at which point the homesite resets to MSN. I expect we'll be seeing MSN get a large bump in hits over the next six months or so.
    • Whenever a student in CS150 here at UC Berkeley launches IE while logged into a lab computer, MSN's home page comes up. Of course, we immediately go to the CS150 home page, but the MSN page does pop up first. If you add that up for a few months, that's quite a few MSN page views that shouldn't really count.

      And then, we had a Microsoft guy come to the last day of class to give out prizes to groups with the best projects. Hm...
    • I respectfully disagree. :-)

      You're forgetting that many online users do not default to the MSN home page due to the choice of ISP they use.

      Remember, EarthLink/Mindspring users (that includes me) default to; AOL users default to; and other ISP's use their own selection of start pages.

      Anyway, experienced 'Net users will choose their own choice of start pages or even start on a blank page (a pretty popular option for very experienced users).
  • yeah right (Score:3, Flamebait)

    by vsync64 ( 155958 ) <> on Sunday December 09, 2001 @06:45PM (#2679650) Homepage
    online shoppers believe prices are lower in brick-and-mortar stores

    Working in a brick-and-mortar store, let me just tell you:


    We routinely sell items for at least twice the PriceWatch [] price. And people continue to buy from us.

    • While I agree that most of these "customers" are clueless, they aren't all clueless. Brick-and-mortar stores serve at least one purpose, that is nearly instant availablitiy. When I'm being payed $30 an hour and need something now, I'll pay the $35 they want for a NIC. Why? Because in the end it's a better deal.
    • Yeah, tech stuff. Other stuff can be quite expensive, especially if you include s&h.
  • survey techniques. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Alien54 ( 180860 ) on Sunday December 09, 2001 @06:47PM (#2679656) Journal
    somehow surveys that just ast what a person does without asking how they feel seems a little off base.

    a better example is one I 've seen at radio free nation, where the current survey asks if you stongly support the war, or is it worried support, or relectant support, or conversly strongly oppose, or is it worries opposition, or reluctant oppsition.

    There's a bunch of folks who think everyone's crazy!

    This woould show soft the support for a position is. I can imagine a similar survey on the internet experience, Micorsoft, or Open source, or whatever.

    How many people would have reluctant support of Microsoft, or are frustrated by their ISP?

    more than one way to skin a cat.

    • I think most support delivery of justice (by 12 of us together in agreement, or by one very intelligent and wise Judge...) to criminals everywhere, whether they are terrorists, corporations, or governments.

      And as to support? Well, for some issues, polls mean nothing until judgement day.

    • Not to disparage too much what you're saying, because there's a lot of truth to it, I can't help but observe that the addition of emotionally charged qualifiers such as those you've mentioned, also has a lot of drawbacks.

      Were you to ask me if I supported the war or not, I would tell you that I support it. If you offer me the choice between whether I support it strongly or relucantly, I would be apprehensive about your motives in asking the question like that. Why do you want me to commit strongly or weakly?

      The suggestion that comes to my mind is, "strongly" and "weakly" are weasel words that the surveyors can use to nudge the outcomes of the survey any way they like. For example if it proves beneficial to the surveyors to show that people are in some way divided in their support of the war, then it suffices for them to show that, even though the overwhelming majority of people supports the war, only (say) 10% does so strongly (considering that most people, when offered the choice between committing strongly or weakly, will commit weakly).

      So all things considered, I'd prefer surveys to just ask people what you need to know. And leave the weasel words out of it.

      • Another way to put this, is that using words like "strongly" and "weakly" biases the survey to place disproportionate value onto what is fundamentally a rather arbitrary decision (do I support something strongly or weakly? But then what does either of these really mean? -> Whatever).
      • How to Spin Surveys (Score:3, Informative)

        by Alien54 ( 180860 )
        The suggestion that comes to my mind is, "strongly" and "weakly" are weasel words that the surveyors can use to nudge the outcomes of the survey any way they like.

        Mosty professional surveys by politcal consultants do that anyhow, by prefixing the survey question with biased viewpoints.

        For Example:
        1. Are you in favor of Advancing Technology?
        2. Are you in favor of Innovation?
        3. Are you in favor of Making Computers Easier to Use?
        4. Would you consider supporting Microsoft if I told you that Microsoft was a Leader in Innovation, Advancing Technology, and Making Computers Easier to Use?
        You would? Could you sign this petition?

        End result: Most People support Microsft for being a Leader in Innovation, for Advancing Technology, and Making Computers Easier to Use

        You can see how the biase was applied. you list out all the good things that people agree with, then align your candidate, product, company etc with the desired characteristics. This is far more complex then finding out how people really feel about something. But most posters are truly clueless about reading human emotion, and so you use a simply list.

        For example "Strongly supporting the war " covers a world of sins, including Strongly supporting with an Evil Laff, or with Anger, or with Pain, or with Joy (happy to go to war) or what ever.

        So it really depends on what the purpose of the survey is. Simply put while a majority of Americans do support the war, many do so with some kind of second thoughts. It is definitely not "Rah Rah Rah!" for this whole thing.

        While surveys should ask what you "need to know", what you think you need to know, and what you really need to know often differ. To say that 90% of the people support the war is misleading if you do not know that many people have reservation, and will cut someone to ribbons when they start to really screw up.

        • Yes, but we weren't discussing this kind of "leading the witness" spinmeisterschaft, characterized by the suggestive nouns you mentioned.

          This is about offering people an arbitrary (because the cost is nil) choice, then inferring from that what they will do if the cost is non-nil.

          The point is that a wealthy person who declares only a weak commitment might (through taxes) end up being a much stronger supporter of the war effort then a poor person declaring a strong commitment.

          Everybody is a strong supporter of environmentally friendly products as long as they don't end up paying for it.

          • This is about offering people an arbitrary (because the cost is nil) choice, then inferring from that what they will do if the cost is non-nil.

            Well then the survey question would have to account for the circumstances, such as "if Bin Laden had killed your Significant Other, would you support the war?" Which is somewhat difficult to gauge as far as the validity of the result goes.

            The actual effective support of the war via taxes verse the support vs votes and expressed opinions are mixing two classes of support. And the amount of opposition of needed to actually withhold payment of your taxes in opposition to a war is great indeed. Most people pay their taxes.

            So the only way to conduct a survey that would satisfy your conditions would be to put people under an actual test. This could be considered cruel, given how many people are simply supported by social mechanisms, and would have a hard time without them.

            From the questions, note that they do not ask people what they would do, but how they feel.

            which is not invalid.

            • Well, you just can't solve unsolvable problems. If you cannot do a test because it is not practical to do so, then the solution is not to keep changing the test until you arrive at something practical, but simply to accept that the subject is basically untestable.

              It is quite valid to ask people how they feel about something. Whether it is relevant how people feel, or to what extent their feelings affect their behaviour is quite another matter.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Some of miss the old days of, which later became this startup.

    Also, one often wonders about slashdot users. Not only it is interesting to see if they've been online more than 3 years, but I'd like to know how long they've been using Linux and Windows. I hate making a pro-Windows comment like "in the last 4 years, I've found my Windows and Linux servers to be equally stable and fast", only to be flamed by a kid who has used Linux less than 6-months flame me for not knowing what I'm talking about.
  • by bstadil ( 7110 ) on Sunday December 09, 2001 @06:50PM (#2679665) Homepage
    These report is pure drivel. There is a very interesting report / Rebuttal []from Odlyzko [] of University of Minnesota about the growth of the Internet itself. It seems that the numbers banted around is between 400% year and Zero. Second the makers of these reports can't do basic math.
    • These report is pure drivel. There is a very interesting report / Rebuttal []from Odlyzko [] of University of Minnesota about the growth of the Internet itself. It seems that the numbers banted around is between 400% year and Zero. Second the makers of these reports can't do basic math.

      Odlyzko's rebuttal has nothing to do with either the UCLA or Forrester reports. It is a rebuttal of a report by caspian networks [] which is about traffic/bandwidth, the costs and revenues of IT firms generally, and not about personal usage patterns at all! Caspian networks actually states that interest in the internet is down (UCLA comes to the opposite conclusion) - although I think by this they mean internet shopping, which UCLA agrees is down. Odlyzko doesn't even address that part of the Caspian network's reprot, but is about Caspian's methods of measuring bandwidth usage on internet backbones (I agree with Odlyzko that they're flawed.)

      Now, Caspian/Odlyzko are still both fascinating, but the previous post needs to be modded down as offtopic in the worst way.

      Which is not to say that I don't have problems with UCLA's report.

      The part of their own report which they think is most fascinating (UCLA, pg 18) is total nonsense. Of course people who've been using the internet for less than 1 year are more likely than people who've been using for more than 5 to play games/chat, and less likely to use the internet at work. They're more likely to be children and not have jobs!

      Anyway, buried on page 59 of the report is an actually fascinating finding about children's behavior on-line. Children are 30% likely (compared to 10% or so generally) to think that it's easier to meet people on-line than in person. That's a fascinating trend, for those of us interested in how technology impacts human social interactions. It also means that some of those 14 year old girls I've been flirting with on-line probably aren't FBI agents. []
  • and they use a pdf instead of html. go figure.
  • doesnt mean you have a clue what you are talking about! These things are clearly confused, misleading, and just plain dead wrong.
  • Experienced net users are less likely to download music?

    I think it's more likely that experienced users just create a pseudo-
    newbie indentity on the fly, rather than waiting for a friendly
    lawyer to speak with them about the advantages of Digital Rights
    • According to page 18, the very experienced users (more than 5 years online) are 40% MORE likely to download music. And about 1/4 as likely to use a chat room and 1/2 as likely to play games.

      Of course, this is all as a percentage of time spent online, so if the very experienced spend more time online, all bets are off....
    • It would be interesting to see the -source- of downloaded music based on experience. How many new users even know that newsgroups exist? Or that you can find just about anything on irc? Or that irc isn't Instant Messanger?

  • it's true, as an experienced internet user, I don't use chatrooms nor download music. However I do play online games; not the browser based ones.
  • I know that prices are lower in Brick-And-Mortar stores.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    i don't find it "interesting" that newbies use chat, music swapping, etc. more than old timers. the internet was hyped for that. Newbies get in, do that sort of stuff, overdose, then find better things to do (real world again) as they become experienced.
  • by GreenHell ( 209242 ) on Sunday December 09, 2001 @07:05PM (#2679713)
    *cough* *cough* I would like to point something out about this article vs. the item it points to, and I quote:
    Some interesting claims: online shoppers believe prices are lower in brick-and-mortar stores, and experienced Interneters are less likely to use chatrooms, play games, and download music than their newbie counterparts.

    While I haven't reached the stats on online shopping yet (at 95 pages, this thing is massive), but I would like to point out to the submitter of this article a few stats from one of the charts (new users (those less than one year) and very experienced users (five or more years in 2001) that is located on page 18):

    1. Chatrooms:
      • New users: 6.5%
      • Experienced users: 1.6%
    2. Games:
      • New Users: 5.7%
      • Experienced Users: 2.8%
    3. Download Music:
      • New Users: 2.0%
      • Experienced Users: 2.8%
    Now, last time I checked, 2.8% > 2.0%, so while, yes, newbies do play games and hang around chat rooms more (geez, they had to do a survey of that? I could have told them that), it seems that the 'old-timers' are (slightly) more likely to download music.

    So let this be a lesson for you: Always make sure your facts are correct when submitting an article, it's a little less embarrasing.
    • Now, do you think by "chatrooms" they're including irc channels?

      Seriously. I know damn well a lot of "experienced" people that are always on irc grabbing the latest mp3 packs or other warez on irc.

      Taking that into account, I'm skeptical of the results for at least chatrooms.
      • And then, don't forget that this is as a percentage of time spent online, and seeing as people with 5 or more years online spend twice as much time online as people with less than one year online... so remember for the close ones, that means for sure that the experienced users spend more time, just not a larger percent of the time.

        I'm not in the mood to work out the actual hours based on the percentages, but yeah, I know a few who've been online for years, and spend most of their time is spent hanging around irc.
    • Hmm....

      I suspect that the union of the sets of "New Users" who play games, visit chatrooms and download music is greater than a similar union of sets "Old Users", performing these activities.

      In that respect, the statement "experienced Interneters are less likely to use chatrooms, play games, and download music than their newbie counterparts" looks to be valid. Let's face it, you're nit-picking, and that pettiness over 0.8% is pathetic.

      If there's anything appalling about the statement you've taken exception to, it's the way that the noun "Internet" appears to have been made into a verb. Interneters, indeed....


      • I take great pride in nitpicking, thank you very much... Anyways, if I really had wanted to get picky I could have pulled out the fact that this is a percentage of time spent online, and 'Veteran Users' spend slightly over 2x as much time online as newbies. Which means that the 0.8% actually represents a difference of a much higher magnitude.

        Personally, the real reason I brought it up was all the people who started posting 'Yah, I spend much less time downloading music now than I did when I first got on the internet' (possibly because if they actually downloaded music 5 years ago, it probably took them a lot longer on their 28.8 and 14.4 modems) without having even looked at the article in question.
  • It sounds about right.

    I'm not convinced online stores are cheaper. Often if you shop around you can get as cheap, or cheaper prices. Also, even when an online store is cheaper...once you add in postage etc, it often works out more expensive.

    I still shop online though...its definately more conveniant!
    • When making expensive purchases, I've found online stores to be cheaper. 6 months ago I purchased an engagement ring from that was much cheaper than ones at jewelry stores, largely because there was no sales tax.

  • Portals? (Score:4, Flamebait)

    by The Ape With No Name ( 213531 ) on Sunday December 09, 2001 @07:14PM (#2679742) Homepage




    Personally, my portal is Google for searching, Mutt and Sendmail for messaging, and /. for lameness....
    • My portal [myportal] only works with Galeon []. :-)
    • Tagert! Where's froggy?
    • It has been noted that you criticise Slashdot in your post. You are clearly not aware that the purpose of Slashdot is to spread criticism of Microsoft, it is not intended to spread criticism of projects considered cool by the majority of readers, and it is definitely not permitted to criticise Slashdot itself.

      Take note in future, any posting which expresses an opinion other than that held by the majority of Slashdot readers will be moderated down as "Flamebait" or "Troll". We don't want any debating on our website!

  • ...If you have to pay for both sales tax AND shipping.

    I have found living in California, where many of the e-tailers are, that having to pay CA sales tax (& sometimes even being forced to pay the higher Los Angeles city rate, even though I don't live there), and having to pay $2-$5 for Shipping & Handling per item, totally wipes out any online discount off of the retail price for a product.

    See, B&M Stores do bulk shipping from major distributors, so the actual shipping cost is low enough to them so that they can "eat" the cost -- actually, the cost winds up being built into the retail price nicely for them (Plus, you pay the cost for the "final mile" shipping, by driving the merchandise to your house).

    Online stores don't have that luxury. Their shipping costs are much higher. So they have to tack on the shipping costs, or lose a bundle, and go dot-bomb up.

    I have no problem with this. But, when I am also forced to pay sales tax, the price of the product is likely to be un-competitive with the final B&M price, even though they have to charge sales tax too.

    So every time I hear mom & pop stores and state governors whining about lost revenue to Internet sales, it really boils my pot. Because if they have their way, and ALL Internet sales are charged state sales tax regardless of point of origin (to say nothing if the govt. one day decides to levy a special federal level Internet tax on purchases), all online shopping will be un-competetive price wise, and nobody will buy anything online except for those hard-to-find items. And guess what, people? those hard-to-find items won't be there if companies can't make money off of common items as well!
    • The trick is obviously not to live in CA. I live in the Northern Virginia area (in the "rich" suburbs of Reston) and the brick and mortar stores are almost always more expensive than ordering online (especially with Pricewatch [] scouring the net for low prices for me. The shipping costs are generally similar to what I would have to pay in sales tax. The worst part is that the shipping costs have gradually decreased over the years (adjusted for inflation) while the sales tax has increased. Still, if you are buy cheap items ($25-50 or so) you need to make sure the shipping isn't going to kill you, but how many people buy really cheap items online, or even comparison shop at the local brick and mortars? Most people I know just go down to wherever is convienent and pick it up. I'll probably never buy a standard NIC online because the local Best Buy sells nice Tulip based cards for $5-10. There's no point in really comparison shopping at that point.
  • who thinks that portals suck? What kind of experienced user uses a portal? I'm just curious as wether somebody can enlighten me on this. I'd think experienced users know what they are doing, meaning they go directly to the most relevant specialised site that gives them the info they are looking for at that point in time. Personally, google is my choice. Fast, reliable, popup and ad free, and it contains a link to absolutly everything I could want (or almost)... I'm interested to hear your thoughts on why anybody experienced should use a portal.
    • I'm not entirely proud about it, but I do have Yahoo set as my portal with autologin from my laptop (my only hardware allowed to have MS installed on it).

      A yahoo account is rather useful to me now, as it can accept incoming mail forwarded, as well as outgoing forwards. I've just finished school and though I used to have a server and get email at my own domain... I don't anymore. All my parents have is a lame ol' AOL account. Talk about deprived!! (dsl not avail). Anyway, I use the myYahoo page, since I can display my newest messages, some dumb movie listings, the latest on Osama, and my Yahoo! online dating responses (all them girls at yahoo suck anyway, btw) but it's moderately useful. Yahoo can also zap my cellphone when I have new mail with filters... although it's not 100% reliable.

      Once I'm on my own again sure I'll have my linux box do the mailin' and alertin' and all... maybe I can even make the mailer forward urgents to my cellphone. but how practical is that for even *most* people that consider themselves experts??

      a smart expert might just do what's convenient if he's in a hurry
    • I just made my own portal*. Simple, fast, and gets me where I want to go without having to spend time typing URLs.

      *By portal I mean HTML file with a bunch of grouped links.
    • Portals are like the Yellow Pages of the Internet. They have categorized areas, and you generally have to ask to be included. Back in the Day at least (when Yahoo was the only game in town, and portaling was all they did), they made a decent alternative to search engines, which I have always equated with being the "white pages" of Internetland. If you want to find websites that fit into a known category, a portal can sometimes cut the wheat from the chaff better than a search engine can.

      Search engines are great for specific lookups. For more generalized lookups, portals can sometimes be helpful.
  • by Hobart ( 32767 ) on Sunday December 09, 2001 @07:32PM (#2679791) Homepage Journal

    Brick and mortar stores have cheaper prices than online, eh?

  • I'm suspicious of both surveys -- neither had a Cowboy Neal option.
    Funny, that would actually give me more confidence in them.
  • Who Did They Survey? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Amerist ( 183586 ) on Sunday December 09, 2001 @08:04PM (#2679864) Homepage
    How did this Internet surveys even get off of the ground? While MSN and Yahoo are certainly two of the most prominent search-engines around I myself still shun Yahoo because of its commercialism and MSN because I never know if I can trust the outcome of what I'm searching for.

    Ever since I first discovered AltaVista I used it over Yahoo. Then, ever since I discovered Google I used it over Altavista. One would expect that as an Internet user "matured" they would move away from gaudy directory services and see the appeal of a less complex and more raw interface that brings them more direct information like Google.

    I find it extremely hard to believe that Google didn't show up in the top two of "mature" Internet users.

    (Of course being able to set my language to Gaelic on Google didn't hurt either.)

    • Beind able to set the language to bork bork bork or elmer fudd is what makes google truely worth while!
    • Of equal importance, perhaps, might be the question who did they survey who was not online? I would like to meet the person who gave the answer to the question "Why not online?" (p26) I found the information I needed, so I don?t need it anymore This man or woman must have tapped right into the godhead and accessed the answer to life, the universe and everything. I wonder what search engine they use?
  • Many of your Joe-Windows-users likely said they were experienced.. Who decides the person's skill level? If they aren't chosen by the person being tested but rather by a selective approach.. what constitutes experienced? The testing for if someone is experienced or not could end up rigging the voting process. Anyway, this is probably answered on the webpage if only I bothered to read it.

    I vote you must grok this [] to qualify as experienced :)
    • I'm assuming they could determine experience based on the number of years a user has had Internet connectivity and how much time they spend on the 'net in an average week.

  • When i first really got involved with the internet i used those search engines because they are easily accesible (i.e. MSN is your default start page). In addition, in college I downloaded a lot more music in my free time while on the computer, and in my early days on the computer i visited chat rooms a lot more, I think the survey is at least on the money for me. What about the rest of you slashdotters?
  • The top reason for use according to the report is to get information quickly. The second was this "other" catagory.

    pr0n hun?
  • I wonder how much these studies were skewed by the fact that most very experienced Internet users stopped filling out surveys years ago. They're either too busy, too paranoid, or have burned too many times by "surveys". How many of the people here would have contributed to this survey if asked. I'm sure somewhere in these 95 pages it talks about this, or at least gives the numer of experienced vs newbies, but I didn't read it all the way through. Will there ever be a poll that accuratly shows what experienced users do?
  • experienced Interneters are less likely to use chatrooms, play games, and download music than their newbie counterparts
    I can buy two out of three...I had my fill of IRC eons ago and I've never been much of a game player (online or off). I'm not so sure that J. Random Newbie would know where to go looking for music, though; your average AOLer won't want to tie up his phone line for hours to download an album (assuming that his connection doesn't get dropped halfway through each file). MP3 downloaders usually have fat pipes available to them; your average new user won't want to fork over the extra $$$ for cable or DSL at first.
    An unrelated report from Forrester Research claims that Internet newcomers tend to gather at LookSmart and MSN portals, while old-timers prefer InfoSpace and Yahoo.
    My homepage is set to about:blank, the CowboyNeal of portals. :-) Their idea of an old-timer must be like Las Vegas' idea of an old-timer (if you've lived here at least two years, you're considered to have lived here forever). Real old-timers don't fart around with portals...if you have a homepage set at all, it's something useful like Google [].

"An entire fraternity of strapping Wall-Street-bound youth. Hell - this is going to be a blood bath!" -- Post Bros. Comics