Feeds

Second Life equal with First Life

Survey finds virtual world as important as reality

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Nearly half of all Americans who belong to online communities claim that the virtual world they inhabit is as important as the real world.

According to a new study conducted by the USC-Annenberg School Centre for the Digital Future, 43 per cent of those who are part of a virtual community said that they felt as strongly about this society as they do about the physical world that they are a part of.

The report found that over 50 per cent of members log-in to their online community at least once a day.

An online community is typically defined as a group that shares thoughts or ideas, or works on common projects through electronic communication such as email, instant messaging or forums.

The 2007 Digital Future Project found that online communities can serve as a catalyst for social activism, with almost two-thirds of online community members who participate in social causes through the internet stating that they are involved in causes that were new to them when they began participating on the internet. In addition, 43.7 per cent of online community members participate more in social activism since they started participating in their virtual world.

"More than a decade after the portals of the worldwide web opened to the public, we are now witnessing the true emergence of the internet as the powerful personal and social phenomenon we knew it would become," said Jeffrey I Cole, director of the USC Annenberg School Centre for the Digital Future.

"The internet has been a source of entertainment, information, and communication since the web became available to the American public in 1994. However, we are now beginning to measure real growth and discover new directions for the internet as a comprehensive tool that Americans are using to touch the world."

Overall, more than three quarters of Americans aged 12 and older are now online, with 68 per cent of these using the internet at home, up from 46.9 per cent in 2000. Moreover, 50 per cent of Americans now access the internet through a broadband connection.

However, increased broadband adoption at home is causing concern with a small but growing percentage of adults saying that the children in their households spend too much time using the internet. Nonetheless, almost 70 per cent of parents said that their children spent the right amount of time online.

The study also found that the number of American internet users who keep a blog has more than doubled over the past three years. According to the report, 7.4 per cent of users now use blogs, compared to 3.2 per cent in 2003. In addition, 12.5 per cent of online Americans now maintain their own website.

Copyright © 2006, ENN

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
NSA mass spying reform KILLED by US Senators
Democrats needed just TWO more votes to keep alive bill reining in some surveillance
Bada-Bing! Mozilla flips Firefox to YAHOO! for search
Microsoft system will be the default for browser in US until 2020
Google bags OBSCENELY LARGE Times Square ad space for New Year's
Choc Factory pays millions for whacking new digital screen
'Cleantech' a dirty word for VCs? RUBBISH!
They just think the current schemes are terrible
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.