Is Web a Store or a Library?
According to the Markle Foundation's report on its yearlong study of thousands of U.S. users, titled "Toward a Framework for Internet Accountability" (available at www.markle.org), "the leading metaphor for the Internet, in the public'sAccording to the Markle Foundations report on its yearlong study of thousands of U.S. users, titled "Toward a Framework for Internet Accountability" (available at www.markle.org), "the leading metaphor for the Internet, in the publics mind, is not a shopping mall or banking and investment office but, rather, a library." Perception is reality, of course, and if thats the way most Internet users see things, so be it. Those users have a number of other perceptions as well, according to the study. For example, they say the Internets lack of governance bothers them. They say theyre worried about the accessibility of pornography and violent content, the lack of privacy rules and the lack of channels for the remedy of complaints. At the same time, theyre not so concerned about virus infections, Web services standards, content ownership issues and technologies.
Another finding: The popularity of the Internet is unaffected by the dot-com implosion. Users may have enjoyed the biblical justice of dot-comeuppance, but researchers found no significant change in the favorability rating of the Internet between June of this year and a year ago. But users do care about the accuracy of the information they find: The majority of users seriously doubt what they see on the Internet. On the Internet, believability is therefore a core competitive advantageand, once lost, its expensive or impossible to regain.