Wednesday, January 28, 2004

  1. I am very interested in how the shift towards broadband is affecting conceptions of the Internet and its use (The report held this up as a major difference in the conclusion, and it reflects my own online experience). I am wondering if it is true that the Internet is becoming more like a ubiquitous utility for those with broadband access than it has for those on dialup, then how does this produce different perceptions of the medium of the Internet? Does the Internet "mean" different things to these different sets of people, or does (nearly) everyone's progression from no access to dialup to broadband make this a non-issue? Naturally, this question ignores those with no access at all (although their perceptions are arguably important too). Is this a sign of the Internet's "maturation" as Pew thinks it is? How do these issues compare with people who have broadband at school or work only?

  2. How does the net’s integration into the information economy (especially in use for work) compare to other mediums historically? What difference does this make in terms of opening or closing the divide?

  3. Perhaps a fundamental question: do the demographic divisions of Internet use matter more from an information access or from a social networking standpoint? (or is “matter more” not a good way to put it?)

Overall, I felt that the lack of context to why the statistics come out this way sort of deemphasized the existence of a digital divide. Also, the numbers seemed to fit stereotypes a little too closely (eg: Asian Americans receive absolutely no mention until pg. 48 under the "education" section).

(Seunghyun, to answer your question: Blogger accepts some html code. Take a look here under "adding links to other pages" for a description on how to do it or ask me in class ;)
-john t

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