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Heavy Internet user habits

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Thursday August 31, 2006 )

“Heavy users” just doesn’t refer to drugs these days :). Approximately a third of the US population are now classified as heavy users of the Internet, i.e. those accessing the web at least 11 times over 7 day period for activity not email related.

The profile of their activity whilst online is very interesting.

An eMarketer report published yesterday states the most common non-email related activities of a heavy Internet user in the 16-49 age bracket during April were researching purchases, purchasing and entering contests or sweepstakes – in that order. I find this a little odd – but I’m only reporting this, not stating it to be a hard fact :). I would have thought that activities including Instant Messaging would have been at the top of the list, but it doesn’t even appear in the top 10.

The most popular non-email “new” technologies accessed are Instant Messaging, price comparison web sites and social networking sites.

Active participation in blogging, such as running a blog or commenting on one is also hugely popular, with 62% stating that they had done so sometime over a 7 day period. 7% of those aged between 35 to 49 stated they had their own blog compared to 22% of those heavy users surveyed aged between 16 and 34.

Whilst on the subject of blogging, over a third of heavy users surveyed stated a dislike of companies using blogs to try and sell their products and services – an important point company bloggers to take note of – peddle with care :). 19% stated that they didn’t mind corporate sponsorship appearing in blogs and 28% said they liked *credible* blog authors recommending products and services to them.

Something I’ve noticed in non-company blogs, especially among those related to providing advice and news relating to online business, is that readers can be particularly averse to a blog author recommending a product and providing an affiliate link to the company without identifying it as such. Readers can actually quite vocal about it in the post comments.

Some of the blogging “old-timers” are sensitive to this fact and will identify if a link they are providing in a post is an affiliate link by using “(Aff)” immediately after the link. Affiliate links in blog menus and sidebars don’t appear to create the same sort of reaction.

Read more of “What Do ‘Heavy Users’ Do Online?” – an eMarketer report based on a Universal McCann Study.


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