In 2003, respondents identified their home phones as thetechnology they valued most, followed by TV, cell phones andInternet access. At the same time, the percentage of consumerssaying they would have a hard time giving up their Blackberry orother wireless e-mail device has increased six-fold in the pastfive years, from 6% of American adults in 2002 to 36% in 2007.

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Industry insiders say it's the age of digital lifescapes, orlifestyles formed through the fusion of technology, socialconnections, information and communication.

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New technologies have become more important because of greateruse, industry experts explain. The Center for the Digital Future atthe University of Southern California Annenberg School forCommunication describes computers as increasingly widespread. In2002, 29% of the households surveyed did not have a computer andonly 3% had four or more. Today, only 19% are without computers and9% have four or more.

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The 2008 Digital Future Project also found:

  • Eighty% of Internet users age 17 and older consider theInternet to be an important source of information for them -- upfrom 66% in 2006--and higher than television (68%), radio (63%) andnewspapers (63%).
  • Membership in online communities has more than doubled in thepast three years. More than half of online community members (54%)log into their community at least once a day, and 71% of membersrate their community as very important or extremely important. Alarge and growing percentage of those members--55%-- say they feelas strongly about their online communities as they do about theirreal-world communities.
  • Internet users spend an average of 15.3 hours each week online,more than an hour more than in 2006, and a growing number surf theInternet from web-enabled mobile phones or computers equipped withwireless access cards.
  • More than three-quarters of home users access the Internetthrough a broadband connection, an increase of 25% in oneyear.
  • The most common online activities are checking e-mail (96%),Internet surfing without a specific destination (71%), looking fornews online (60%), finding product information (43%), conductingonline banking or other financial services (38%), instant messaging(37%), playing online games (35%) or searching for humorous content(25%).
  • About 16% of Internet users go online to find or check a factat least daily, and 7% go online at least once a day to look up thedefinition of a word.

Yahoo! Real Estate

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"Traditional off-line activities are moving online," explainsRamamurthy one of the top three executives at Yahoo! Real Estate.Just as in the real world, virtual users "want pictures, video andthe opportunity to connect with other users for communication andinformation.

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