In a recent article on Internet surfers trust with online information from eMarketer, aUSC Anneberg School Center for the Digital Future study was reviewed and the contents weren’t that surprising. A major finding was that after a five year study they determined that Internet users have grown more trusting of Web sites managed by professional news organizations, but that almost no one takes at face value all of the information posted by individuals. Ah, duh! I could have told them that and saved them some money and valuable research time. However, this report intrigued me, so I clicked to their site and read some of the other report highlights, which I’d like to share.
Before I share insights from that report, I did find a graph from the eMarketer article interesting. This is from a February 2008 study conducted by Zogby Interactive, which found that US Internet users said they trusted the Internet as a news source over newspapers, television, and radio.
But I digress, as I want to share a few highlights from the USC study, which can be found in the press release:
- Membership in online communities has more than doubled in only three years. More than half of online community members log into their community at least once a day and 71% said their community is very important to them. Shockingly, 56% of members reported meeting their online counterparts in person.
- Participation in online communities has a dramatic effect on participation in social causes. 75% of online community members said that they use the Internet to participate in communities related to social causes. With 87% of members said they are participating in social causes that are new to them since their involvement in online communities began. Good news for our clients like Communications Workers of America and their movement to end the digital divide and give everyone access to high speed Internet.
- What are we doing online on a weekly basis? 96% checking email, 71% surfing without a destination, 60% looking for news online, 43% finding product information, 38% online banking, 37% instant messaging, 35% playing online games, and 25% searching for humorous content.
- What is your home page? A growing number select a search engine for their home page with Google leading the way with over 21% of all home pages.