Friday, January 18, 2008

Do Internet users evolve?

Are users of social networking sites more highly evolved Internet users? I've heard that most users of portals are new users, meaning people from countries just expanding their telecommunications systems to bring more people online. Now I see this report on Internet use in China about how BBS systems are all the rage: Old School BBS: The Chinese Social Networking Phenomenon:

According to a report produced by iResearch Consulting Group in 2007, around 36.3% of users in China spend 1-3 hours per day on BBS sites, about 44.7% of users spend 3-8 hours, and even 15.1% of users are on BBS sites for more than 8 hours each day. Over 60% of users will log in to at least 3 BBS sites more than 3 times each week.

So China is taking the Internet back to the 90s? Do any of you read BBSs anymore? I haven't in years. I asked this question to a group of colleagues recently, and not a single one of them were regular readers of forums either.

So what is going on in China? Is this a trend that will persist, using the old tools, or will they evolve to more socially mediated systems in time?

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