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Thread: 2007 Digital Future Report...

  1. #1
    j2k4's Avatar en(un)lightened
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    ...from USC's Annenberg School:

    Online World As Important to Internet Users As Real World?

    USC-Annenberg Digital Future Project Finds Major Shifts in Social
    Communication and Personal Connections on the Internet

    LOS ANGELES, Nov. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Is the online world as important
    to Internet users as the real world?
    Large numbers of Internet users hold such strong views about their
    online communities that they compare the value of their online world to
    their real-world communities, according to the sixth annual survey of the
    impact of the Internet conducted by the USC-Annenberg School Center for the
    Digital Future.
    Among a broad range of findings about rapidly-evolving methods for
    online communication, the 2007 Digital Future Project found that 43 percent
    of Internet users who are members of online communities say that they "feel
    as strongly" about their virtual community as they do about their
    real-world communities.
    "More than a decade after the portals of the Worldwide Web opened to
    the public, we are now witnessing the true emergence of the Internet as the
    powerful personal and social phenomenon we knew it would become," said
    Jeffrey I. Cole, director of the USC-Annenberg School Center for the
    Digital Future.
    "The Internet has been a source of entertainment, information, and
    communication since the Web became available to the American public in
    1994," said Cole. "However, in 2006 we are beginning to measure real growth
    and discover new directions for the Internet as a comprehensive tool that
    Americans are using to touch the world."
    The findings about online communities and more than 100 other issues
    are published in the 2007 Digital Future Project, the comprehensive annual
    examination of the impact of online technology on America.
    The project surveys more than 2,000 individuals across the United
    States, each year contacting the same households to explore how online
    technology affects the lives of Internet users and non-users. It also
    examines how changing technology, such as the shift from Internet access by
    modem to broadband, affects behavior.
    The 2007 Digital Future Project found that Internet use is growing and
    evolving as an instrument for personal engagement -- through blogs,
    personal Web sites, and online communities.
    Online communities: a catalyst for connection and activism
    Online communities and offline action -- The Digital Future Project
    found that involvement in online communities leads to offline actions. More
    than one-fifth of online community members (20.3 percent) take actions
    offline at least once a year that are related to their online community.
    (An "online community" is defined as a group that shares thoughts or ideas,
    or works on common projects, through electronic communication only.)
    Social activism -- Participation in online communities leads to social
    activism. Almost two-thirds of online community members who participate in
    social causes through the Internet (64.9 percent) say they are involved in
    causes that were new to them when they began participating on the Internet.
    And more than 40 percent (43.7 percent) of online community members
    participate more in social activism since they started participating in
    online communities.
    Online communities: daily use -- A significant majority of members of
    online communities (56.6 percent) log into their community at least once a
    day.
    Member interaction -- Online communities are online havens for
    interaction among members. In 2006, 70.4 percent of online community
    members say they sometimes or always interact with other members of their
    community while logged in.
    Internet users: reaching out across the Web
    Posting information -- Growing percentages of Internet users are going
    online to post information, whether on a blog, posting photos, or
    maintaining a personal Web site.
    -- The number of Internet users in America who keep a blog has more
    than doubled in three years (now 7.4 percent of users, up from 3.2 percent
    in 2003).
    -- Likewise, the number of Internet users who post photos online has
    more than doubled in three years (now 23.6 percent of users, up from 11
    percent).
    -- The number of users who maintain their own Web site continues to
    grow steadily (now 12.5 percent of users).
    The Internet and social links
    The Digital Future Project found continuing growth of the Internet for
    connection to family and friends -- but with virtually no negative effects
    on time spent in person with them.
    New friends, online and in person -- Internet users are finding growing
    numbers of online friends, as well as friends they first met online and
    then met in person. In 2006, Internet users report having met an average of
    4.65 friends online whom they have never met in person. Internet users in
    2006 report an average of 1.6 friends met in person whom they originally
    met online -- more than double the number when the Digital Future Project
    began in 2000.
    Does the Internet increase regular contact with other users? --
    Responding to a question last asked in 2002, 42.8 percent of Internet users
    agree that going online has increased the number of people they regularly
    stay in contact with -- marginally less than the 46.6 percent who voiced
    the same response four years ago.
    Internet users and communication with family and friends -- Although
    more than 40 percent of users say that the Internet has increased the
    number of people with whom they stay in contact, a lower percent say that
    since starting to use the Internet they are communicating more with family
    and friends.
    In 2006, 37.7 percent of Internet users agree that since they started
    to go online they are communicating more with family and friends -- down
    from 45.5 percent in 2002.
    Does the Internet change the amount of time spent with friends and
    family face-to-face? -- While large percentages of Internet users say that
    going online increases contact with family and friends, almost all users
    report that the Internet has no effect on the time spent with close friends
    or family face-to-face.
    The USC-Annenberg Digital Future Project:
    Six years of exploring the digital realm
    The USC-Annenberg School Center for the Digital Future created and
    organizes the World Internet Project, which includes the Digital Future
    Project and similar studies in North America, South America, Europe, Asia,
    the Middle East and Australia. The center is supported by public
    foundations and private companies, including Accenture, America Online,
    Time Warner Companies, Sony, AT&T, Microsoft, and the Coca-Cola Company.
    The Digital Future Project provides a broad year-to-year exploration of
    the influence of the Internet and online technology on Americans. Since
    2000, the project has examined the behavior and views of a national sample
    of Internet users and non-users, as well as comparisons between new users
    (one year or less of experience) and very experienced users (more than nine
    years of experience).
    The project also explores differences in online behavior among users of
    telephone modems compared to broadband.
    For highlights of the 2007 Digital Future Project or to order a copy of
    the complete report, visit http://www.digitalcenter.org.
    “Think about how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half of 'em are stupider than that.” -George Carlin

  2. The Drawing Room   -   #2
    bigboab's Avatar Poster BT Rep: +1
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    I would have liked to have seen the report broken into the various age groups and their social standings. I suspect that the vast majority of users are very young, single and have nothing else to do with their time. There is however the occasional 'Old Fart'.
    The best way to keep a secret:- Tell everyone not to tell anyone.

  3. The Drawing Room   -   #3
    MagicNakor's Avatar On the Peripheral
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    Nothing groundbreaking (or even new) in that article. You could have probably taken a poll of our members here asking if their online friends and communities were important to them and received the same results.

    things are quiet until hitler decides he'd like to invade russia
    so, he does
    the russians are like "OMG WTF D00DZ, STOP TKING"
    and the germans are still like "omg ph34r n00bz"
    the russians fall back, all the way to moscow
    and then they all begin h4xing, which brings on the russian winter
    the germans are like "wtf, h4x"
    -- WW2 for the l33t

  4. The Drawing Room   -   #4
    j2k4's Avatar en(un)lightened
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    Quote Originally Posted by MagicNakor View Post
    Nothing groundbreaking (or even new) in that article. You could have probably taken a poll of our members here asking if their online friends and communities were important to them and received the same results.

    Quite right, I shouldn't unduly credit Annenberg School.








    Actually, my point was to indicate the parallels to our own experiences.
    “Think about how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half of 'em are stupider than that.” -George Carlin

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