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How People Use The Internet

Most of Britain’s 10 million Internet Society members, commonly called Netzines, spend 20 hours a week on the Internet. (Source IRS Surveys) It is not all searching for information. As research by Georgia Tech Research Corporation2 (GVU Survey) shows.

As in all societies, everyone is different. Some use it mostly as a work tool, more use it for personal information. Education, entertainment, shopping and communication are all applications for use of the Internet.

Applying the GVU Survey to the UK, the primary use for the Internet is different for different people. (statistics and graphs by IRS Surveys) Additional information about how people use the Internet at work comes from the Spyglass Inc3 using its Surfwatch software. It seems that one third of Internet surfing at work is not work related. Non work related visits to sites include news at 8.8%, investments at 6.7%, sexually explicate 2.9%, travel 2.5%, entertainment 2% . Time will tell, but the pressure to use the Internet more at work and for work will grow as business to business transactions escalate.
The number of page being viewed at work is increasing dramatically. This requires good Internet skills.

Of Britain's’ 10 million Internet users over 1.5 million men and 600,000 women enjoy interaction within newsgroups every day. Half of UK Internet society take daily newsfeeds4 In searching for information, the most common method is the use of information on existing Web sites and newsgroups which are already favourites for the Netzine. To find new information, people use Search engines. Research by Danny Sullivan5 shows that most people only use one or two words in a search (65%). Sex is the most sought subject (but is now in decline) but his report of searches in 1998 also identified tools to aid Internet interaction (mp3 and chat, ) as being important and, at the time the film Titanic was all the rage and was much searched for.

Interaction and communication, (excluding e-mail ) are already significant aspects of Internet behaviour and are the fastest growing applications. This is most evident among younger women (source IRS Surveys) It comes as no surprise therefor, at the time of writing (August 1999) to find mp3, chat and ICQ continuing for the second year among the top twenty most looked for subjects in www.searchterms.com. This suggests that netzines are looking for tools to make their life in Internet Society even more interactive and they seek a wider range of communication facilities. Most people are conservative in their buying habits compared to Internet users. As part of the learning curve, Internet users become adept at buying and downloading new technologies.

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Article Series

This article is part 4 of a 24 part series. Other articles in this series are shown below:
  1. The Internet Influence
  2. Reputation Management
  3. The Internet Society
  4. How People Use The Internet
  5. The Opinion Formers
  6. A Stakerholder Society
  7. Its Fast
  8. Technology For The People
  9. A Reputation For Responding
  10. Newsgroups, Chat and Cybercast
  11. The Nature of Newsgroups
  12. Chat Overtaking Newsgroups
  13. Cybercasting
  14. The Internet Communities
  15. Neighbourghood Communities
  16. Company Communities
  17. Community Currency
  18. The Effect Of Virutal Communities On The Bottom Line
  19. Political Communities
  20. Cyber Marketers
  21. Global Branding
  22. Accessibility
  23. Information and Content
  24. Cyberbrand Outreach Accessibility
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