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March 11, 2003 4:19 AM


I attended this thing at work today where Jeffery Cole, a Ph.D. at the UCLA Center for Communication Policy (see inset) spoke about current internet trends. It was pretty interesting, but I felt that one major hole in is presentation was bilateral media communications (eg, blogs).

Anyway, here's a bulleted list of some of the things he spoke about (notes were taken in real time, and thus punctuation and grammar are assumed to be absent)...

Surveying the Digital Future
Year Three: The Emergence of Trends
Jeffery Cole, Ph.D.
Director, UCLA Center for Communication Policy
The UCLA Internet Report, 2002
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Intro for Cole emphasizing social and economic impacts of digital media on society.

Cole apparently arranged the Info Superhighway conference with Al Gore nine years ago. Today he stands on a stage, bathed in a projected AOL logo talking about the impact of the net on the social fabric.

Today 14 year olds are watching less TV, and this confirms the fact that bilateral communications are attracting people away from TV.

In interviews with a random sample, 5% of Americans appear to NOT be online for the simple reason that everyone else is.

He feels that the gap between Broadband users and modem users is wider then the gap between modem users and non-users. "Broadband changes everything." (And I agree, due to the simple fact the immediacy of data interaction creates a seamless experience, and allows the user to concentrate on the data and the experience instead of the delivery of it. The mental shift between the meaning of the data and the delivery of it creates roadblocks.)

59% of Americans are online. 42% of the rest expect to go online soon (within 12 months) but that might be a hopeful statistic.

Hours per week usage has increased about 2 hours/week in two years.

As people gain internet experience, their usage and online time increases. A bar graph shows a relatively linear increase.

The graph for "at home" connections is vastly modem based, but broadband connections of growing pretty well. WebTV is on the decline. Cable modem seeing the greatest numeric increase.

Internet use is sapping time away from of-line media activities, except in the case of movies.

Broadband use impacts TV advert watching and modem use impacts general TV watching. Broadband use tends to be more atomic, as in, bite sized chunks, perfect for preempting commercials.