the pew internet site

i’m reading through the online phd i’d earlier recommended in here, and i was drawn to check up on some of its references – mainly because they cited URLS i could easily jump to. one of the referenced sites looks like a promising resource for general figures on internet use and attitudes in the USA – as well as a whole lot of other guff on topics i am not drawn to.
anyway, see the links page to pew-mediated studies on web 2.0 for example.

U.S. Data Consumption Per Day

clickpic for lightbox version

via Gizmodo

Downsizing News Corp

Alternative view via Marketshare HitslinkSearch Engine share October 2009 click for large version

News Corp. Weighs an Exclusive Alliance With Bing

By TIM ARANGO and ASHLEE VANCE – November 24, 2009 – New York Times

This is not how business has been done on the World Wide Web.

Microsoft has been in early discussions with the News Corporation, the media conglomerate controlled by Rupert Murdoch, about a pact to pay the News Corporation to remove links to its news content from Google’s search engine and display them exclusively on Bing, from Microsoft, according to a person briefed on the matter who spoke anonymously because of the confidential negotiations.

If such an arrangement came to pass, it would be a watershed moment in the history of the Internet, and set off a fierce debate over the future of content online.

The Web’s explosive growth has been driven, in part, by the open playing field it represents for consumers and businesses. These discussions could encourage major technology and media companies to start picking sides — essentially applying the cable TV model to the Web.

A deal on a large scale would create a new set of barriers for users to navigate and would represent an enormous risk for the News Corporation or any news site. More than 65 percent of all search inquiries in the United States are made on Google, and removing links from there would lead to a big drop in traffic. Bing handles 9.9 percent of domestic searches, according to comScore.

Steven A. Ballmer, the chief executive of Microsoft, said in a recent interview that Google handled about six times as many search queries as Microsoft, and that Google’s search ads generated more revenue per click. But Microsoft executives have been clear about their intentions to pursue bold measures to disrupt Google’s dominant position in the search market.

A broad deal with media companies would be Microsoft’s most drastic measure to date — one in which it would be running a high-stakes experiment against Google, which also has deep pockets.

Rupert Murdoch obviously doesn’t get it, but, perhaps the Murdochian ethos is: “I don’t need to get it.” The basic feature of the ongoing story is that Murdoch believes his content is proprietary, the intertubes ‘be damned.’ Ironically, Murdoch’s News Corp engineers right wing, and, culturally provocative content.

There isn’t a clear statement of a libertarian media philosophy that I know of, but, liberal net neutrality crashes into free market assumptions when it is assumed content and distribution shall partner so as to divide the spoils by implementing gates and gate-keeping.

Among the implicit problems is that it may be very hard to grow your market. The market may be able to be fenced-in. But, then what, Rhupert?

Seek and Ye Shall Find

MU Researchers Find Internet Search Process Affects Cognition, Emotion
Readers’ physiological responses to online content provides new insight for advertisers

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Nearly 73 percent of all American adults use the Internet on a daily basis, according to a 2009 Pew Internet and American Life Project survey. Half of these adults use the Web to find information via search engines, while 38 percent use it to pass the time. In a recent study, University of Missouri researchers found that readers were better able to understand, remember and emotionally respond to material found through “searching” compared to content found while “surfing.”

“If, as these data suggest, the cognitive and emotional impact of online content is greatest when acquired by searching, then Web site sponsors might consider increasing their advertising on pages that tend to be accessed via search engines,” said Kevin Wise, assistant professor of strategic communication and co-director of the Psychological Research on Information and Media Effects (PRIME) Lab at the University of Missouri.

In the study, the researchers examined how methods for acquiring news — searching for specific content versus surfing a news Web site — affected readers’ emotional responses while reading news stories. They monitored participants’ heart rate, skin conductance and facial musculature to gauge their emotional responses to unpleasant news. The researchers found that unpleasant content triggered greater emotional responses when readers sought the information by searching rather than surfing. In future studies, Wise will study the effects of acquiring pleasant content on readers’ emotional responses.

“How readers acquire messages online has ramifications for their cognitive and emotional response to those messages,” Wise said. “Messages that meet readers’ existing informational needs elicit stronger emotional reactions.”

The researchers also found that information was better understood and remembered when individuals conducted specific searches for information. In a previous study, Wise tested the effects of searching and surfing on readers’ responses to images and found similar results.

Univ.Mo.Bulletin November 4, 2009 Emily Smith

Pew Internet and American Life Project

Daily Internet Activity Survey – source

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