Internet usage up, but users more wary of content, UCLA study finds:
About 61 percent find the Net “very” or “extremely” important as an information source, according to the third annual nationwide survey on the Internet from the University of California at Los Angeles.
That’s roughly the same as the importance Net users place in books and newspapers. By comparison, just half of them find television important, 40 percent think that of radio and 29 percent of magazines.
….The survey of 2,000 households also found Internet users are spending more time online than before and watching less television than nonusers.
Overall, Internet users are averaging 11 hours per week online, up more than an hour from a year earlier.
….Other findings include:
_Among the most experienced users – online at least six years – 73 percent found the Internet important, exceeding the 67 percent for books and 57 percent for newspapers.
_Newcomers with less than a year of experience consider books, newspapers and television more important than the Internet.
_Nearly 30 percent of Americans do not use the Net, most commonly because they don’t have a computer or one good enough. But nearly half the nonusers say they are likely to go online within a year.
_Internet users averaged five hours less TV each week than nonusers. The Internet users watched 11 hours per week of TV, or one hour less than in 2001.
_Some 37 percent of parents say they have punished their kids by denying them access to the Internet. Forty-six percent used television as a similar punishment tool. [AP]
It is up to content providers to ensure that what they put up is as reliable as possible. One of the most important features of blogs is that they tend to be self-correcting – this needs to spread to the Internet in general.