Using the Web as a Survey Tool: Results from the Second WWW User Survey
Pitkow, James Edward
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This paper presents the initial results from the second World Wide Web User Survey, which was advertised and made available to the Web user population for 38 days during October and November 1994. The survey is built on our architecture and Web technologies, which together offer a number of technical and surveying advantages. In particular, our architecture supports the use of adaptive questions, and supports methods for tracking users' responses across different surveys, allowing more in depth analyses of survey responses. The present survey was composed of 3 question categories: general background questions, browsing usage, and questions for Web information providers. In addition, we added an additional, experimental category addressing users' attitudes toward commercial use of the Web and the Internet. In just over one month, we received over 18,000 total responses to the combined surveys. To the best of our knowledge, the number of respondents and range of questions make this survey the most reliable and comprehensive characterization of WWW users to date. It will be interesting to see if and how the user trends shown in our results change as the Web gains in global access and popularity.