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Internet World Stats News

Number 003 - February, 2005

Welcome to IWS News

Table of Contents

Editor's Note

We are late with this second edition of the Internet World Stats Newsletter. The reason for this delay is that we wanted to give you some first hand news and updates on the current Internet usage figures. Unfortunately this was not possible because this year the figures have been somewhat delayed in coming in from the field. Sorry about this.

So, having no new stats to consolidate and report in our statistical tables, we will have to leave that theme for a future date and cover other subjects on this occasion.

We do have a surprise that our loyal opt-in subscribers will surely like. You can read all about it below at the end of the newsletter. So, without more ado, please read and enjoy this edition of the IWS News.

New Report from the World Economic Forum

The Global Competitiveness Report 2004-2005 from the World Economic Forum (WEF) revealed that Singapore topped the networked-readiness list overall, thanks to widespread government initiatives to foster ICT use and the quality of its education system.

The United States after three years at the top of the poll, dropped to fifth place this year. The US still scored highly for its research institutions and business schools but other countries had caught up with its widespread penetration of new technologies.

Great Britain has risen to twelfth place in the world in terms of “networked readiness”, a measure of how well countries are exploiting developments in information and communications technology (ICT). Last year Britain came fifteenth.

Other righ ranking countries were in Scandinavia. Iceland, the remotest country in Europe, came second, followed by Finland, Denmark and Sweden in third, fourth and sixth place respectively. A climate of innovation is very much part of the business environment in the Nordic is evident in their culture.

It was not a surprise that South Korea came at the top of the list for broadband usage. There are more broadband users in South Korea than in the whole of South America.

The study monitored 104 countries in a range of categories, marking their business environments, ICT readiness and levels of usage. Chad came last in the study, behind Nicaragua and Ethiopia. Among the major economies, Russia notably underperformed, coming 62nd, virtually unchanged from the previous year.

For more information on the The Global Competitiveness Report you can visit the
World Economic Forum page for further details.

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The Digital Future Project

“Ten Years, Ten Trends” highlights the major findings in the Digital Future Project’s Study by the USC Annenberg School Center for the Digital Future, in Los Angeles, California, of the Impact of the Internet on North Americans ten years after electronic portals to the Worldwide Web were first opened to millions of computer users.

Ten significant trends have emerged that vividly illustrate how the Internet affects North America, according to findings from the comprehensive year-to-year study of the impact of online technology. The ten trends identified by the Digital Future study are:

1. In North America, the Digital Divide Is closing, but is not yet closed as new divides emerge.

Does the “digital divide” still exist? The Digital Future Project found that about 75 percent of Americans can access the Internet from some location – home, work, school, libraries, and other locations. The fastest-growing Internet user populations are groups that were once considered the primary victims of the digital divide: Latinos, African Americans, and older Americans. Now a new divide is here, the divide between those who have broadband and those who use traditional telephone modem access.

2. The Media habits of the Nation have changed, and continue to change

For the past 50 years, Americans’ time at home has been dominated by television. Increasingly over the last 10 years, Internet users have “bought” their time to go online from the time they previously spent watching television. And, the more experience users have with the Internet, the less television they watch.

3. The credibility of the Internet Is dropping

The credibility of information on the Internet was high among users through the first three years of the Digital Future Project, and that credibility remains generally high in Year Four. The study shows that most users trust information on the Web sites they visit regularly, and on pages created by established media and the government. The information that users don’t trust is on Web sites posted by individuals.

4. We have just begun to see the changes to come in buying online

Several issues that affect online purchasing have changed dramatically in the last four years. There is no question that concerns about credit card security while buying online remain extremely high. And, while concerns remain high, Internet users are buying more frequently. In 2001, they bought online about 11 times each year; now they buy about 30 times per year. And, as Internet use increases, buying online increases dramatically.

5. The “Geek-Nerd” perception of the Internet is dead

Since the beginning of the Digital Future Project, its studies found that going online did not put the social lives of users at risk. The Internet has little or no impact on time spent with family or friends, or on sleeping, exercising, or most other personal activities (other than watching television). In fact, the Digital Future Project continues to show that Internet users are often more socially active than non-users, and are less alienated from others. And because of e-mail and instant messaging, the Internet has become a useful tool to build relationships; Internet users communicate with others more, not less.

6. Privacy and security concerns remain high, but levels are changing

In all four studies by the Digital Future Project, Internet users and non-users alike have expressed very high levels of concern about privacy and security. They fear not only for their personal security, but are also concerned about companies or individuals tracking what they do online.

7. The Internet has become the number one source for information for Internet users

The Internet has become the most important source of current information for users – the primary place they go for research, general information, hobbies, entertainment listings, travel, health, and investments. The “always-on” function of broadband has accelerated this importance. As Internet experience increases, perceptions of the importance of the Internet as an information source also increase.

8. The benefits and drawbacks of the Internet for children are still coming into focus.

There is no question that the Internet opens a whole new world to children. But it’s a world that is also strewn with pitfalls. The issues involving children and the Internet are extensive: Does the Internet help my children with their schoolwork? (Children say yes.) But, does the Internet improve grades? (Adults say no.)

9. E-mail: “E-Nuff” Already?

E-mail is still the single most important reason people go online. E-mail is a tremendous convenience, and for most users, it is a free service with enormous benefits. E-mail opens opportunities to communicate more often and with a much broader circle of people than we ever reach by telephone or by mail.

10. Broadband will change everything again

Just as the arrival of the Internet created a flood of social change, the proliferation of broadband technology as a method of accessing the Internet is beginning to cause its own revolution. Broadband is changing entirely our relationship with the Internet at home – how often we go online, how long we stay online, and what we do online. Simply, modem use is disruptive; broadband use is integrative. The ‘always on’ feature of broadband will have significant effects on Internet use.

For reading the complete 105 page study (pdf), here is the
download link.

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Monthly Prize for IWS Subscribers

Good news for all subscribers. During 2005 we will have a monthly drawing among all the active subscribers to our newsletter and the prize for the winner will be a free gmail account. As you well know, gmail is Google's email service with an incredible huge 1,000 MB storage box capacity and a very practical search feature included. Gmail accounts are difficult to obtain. Only by special invitation.

To start this new monthly prize drawing, on this occasion we will give out three gmail accounts: one for January, one for February and one for March. All you have to do to participate in the drawing is to have a confirmed and active opt-in subscription to IWS NEWS. The drawing will take place on March 31, 2005 in the morning at our office. On that same date we will notify the three lucky winners.

To qualify and to participate in the drawing, please confirm your subscription by sending an email with your name and address, by clicking on the following
link and then send. Remember the subscription is absolutely free, and we promise to keep your address private. Hurry and confirm your subscription today, don't loose the opportunity to get a free gmail account in the drawing. click confirmation link(Note: if the link does not work, manually send email to " ").

Good luck to all and tell your friends to subscribe to the IWS Newsletter. See you next edition with more Internet news!

Take care,

Ricky, the Editor


About this newsletter:
IWS News is a free opt-in newsletter about Internet marketing research, published monthly for subscribers. For managing your personal Opt-in subscription, or for un-subscribing, please use this
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