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Tag Archive: Pew Internet and American Life Project

The Beating Heart of the Internet

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Earlier this month, the Pew Internet & American Life Project released its report "A Portrait of Early Internet Adopters: Why People First Went Online -- And Why They Stayed." No great surprises in this study but still worthy of a mention here.

The researchers found that social networking on the 'Net has always been a draw for online users. Back in the days before the Web, BBSs, Usenet, chat rooms and threaded discussions were the precursors of Facebook, Friendster, Myspace and the numerous other social networking sites of today. Pew's survey of several hundred longtime Internet users said social networking was the most appealing initial online draw for them. The report quotes one respondent as saying their first-time online experience was with a time-shared mainframe computer in 1972, and by 1976 they were social networking on it. The report's writer quotes another earlier Pew report: "...the beating heart of the Internet has always been its ability to leverage our social connections."

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