Tuesday, May 22, 2007

UKSG write-up: The Internet Comes Of Age

"The internet is coming of age," said Phillippe Columbet of Google, informing us that there are now more than 1 billion people online.

Again, Web 2.0 developments were mentioned when considering user behaviour - podcasts, video, messaging ...

The internet, he feels, has moved from the periphery to the centre of life - with people turning to it for entertainment, publishing, innovation, commerce, and communication. This was the framework into which Google's products were introduced and promoted in an interesting talk.

Some of Columbet's statistics:
  • 76% of internet users regularly use email
  • 69% use news sites and feeds such as RSS
  • 64% are social networkers
  • 56% are instant messengers
  • 50% watch and listen to streamed content
  • 40% are blogging

Consumers now want to choose what they want to see and hear, when they want to see and hear it! They wish to contribute to and shape content (O'Reilly's "Rough Cuts" product was mentioned, which allows internet users to purchase a book in rough draft form and make suggestions to change and improve its content - more information can be found at http://www.oreilly.com/roughcuts/).

Innovation brings libraries ... publishers ... users together in a chain or circle of communication. Link resolvers and the role of products like Google Scholar were discussed (and led to an interesting post-talk question on whether Scholar will be populated with advertising like the other Google products).

The search to bring offline content online ties in nicely with the Microsoft presentation's assertion that 95% of information is not available on the internet ... yet.

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