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US slips in adopting computer products

According to the new ?Global Digital Living? report the honour belongs to Taiwan and South Korea, writes Deepak Mankar.

business Updated: Jan 17, 2006 20:28 IST

Surprise! Surprise! It is not the US that leads the world in adopting computer products. That honour belongs to Taiwan (8.7) and South Korea (8.4) according to the new ‘Global Digital Living’ report from Parks Associates (sample =10,000 households in 13 countries). Next in descending order of priority come the US (8.1), Canada (8.0), Japan (7.9), Australia (7.0), the UK (6.7), Germany (6.5), France (5.7), Spain (5.4), Italy (5.3), China (2.9) and, last of all, India (1.3). The figures in bracket are the Digital Living Index “based on proclivity to adapt and use MP3 players, video-on-demand (VOD), home networks, computers, online services and similar advanced technologies.” "Each nation has particular strengths and weaknesses in terms of technology adoption," says Parks Associates’ John Barrett. "Canada, for instance, is a very impressive market for home networking while Japan is the undisputed champion for mobile phones, with over one-half of all Japanese households using mobile phone features like e-mail or photo messaging every month. Of course, long commute times in Japan encourage the use of mobile phone entertainment features." The survey found US consumers to be most receptive to TV-related technologies (DVRs and digital cable and the like). In broad band adoption in the home as at the end of 2004, South Korea (73%) led the pack followed by Hong Kong (59.1%), Taiwan (50.8%), Canada (42.7%), Netherlands (41.3%), Japan (38.6%), Singapore (38.3%), Belgium (37.3%), Denmark (36.1%) and Switzerland (33.1%). Hmm, intriguing! emarketer.com.

MAKE NO MISTAKE. No ads in Wiki for now.

Claiming he was misquoted in a recent Times Online story, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales reiterated his current viewwas “that we're much better off without the advertising. It's better for our mission. It's better for our fundraising." However, it seems the door is not slammed shut on advertising’s future contribution to Wikipedia. The question is going to arise as to whether we could better pursue our charitable mission with the additional money [ads would bring]," he said. "We have never said there would absolutely never be ads on Wikipedia."clickz.com. To read the Times Online story, go here: business.timesonline.co.uk.

EYE-POPPING STUFF. How the human eye views e-mail.

This is from Anne Holland’s article in Chief Marketer reproduced in MarketingSherpa. Recent data shows (she writes) that “email recipients spend 10-20 seconds -- at most -- reading a typical email campaign or newsletter your marketing department has sent them.” In that incredibly short time, “what do people really look at …? How many words do they read? Do they skim words in order or dart around the screen? Will they read more if there's text-only and no distracting images? Or vice versa?” The questions were answered by MarketingSherpa's seven eyetracking laboratory tests. The main findings in brief: “HTML Emails with Graphics Get Higher Per-Word Readership”.Other finding: “the design and layout of the email – including the size of the image, the number of images, the use of human, where the image lay in relation to the fold, and what copy was closest to that image – was as important to results as the mere fact of an image being present.” marketingsherpa.com.

ME JANE! You who?

A new Pew Internet and American Life project report says that women now outnumber men online in the United States – especially in the 18-29 age group. Women use the Internet somewhat differently from the way men do – not so much in utility applications but on the communication front where women seem more focused on using the Internet to connect with other people, according to the report. They’re highly sensitive to "worrisome behavior in chat rooms", though. The moral is fairly obvious: put a strong stress on strong
leadership and controls on message boards. Bad behavior can drive away good people if not checked in time. pewinternet.org.

ET TU, TIME? Day pass offer like Salon.

In the last week of December 2005, Time magazine's website started testing the idea of making premium (subscriber-only) content available for free to readers agreeing to firstwatch special advertising. For instance, Time.com site visitors can read the ‘Person of the Year’ cover story for free after theyview a multi-page, full-screen interactive ad from auto maker Chrysler – also winning in the process 24-hour access to the full archive ofarticles. The technology used is from Ultramercialultramercial.com also used by the online magazineSalon since early 2003http://www.salon.com/. It looks like the smart tactic is finally beginning to catch on.clickz.com.

GONE IN A MINUTE. Full three years’ work.

Tough luck for Wang Jianshuo, one of China's most famous bloggers. His blog went suddenly off-line in the last week of December. It seems his host, Ipowerweb ipowerweb.com him off. He wrote: "The ISP I use, Ipowerweb.com, found there is some phishing content on mysite (as they said), and it was their legal responsibility to shut downthesite …The result is, they deleted the content I builtinthe last three years within one minute. I am working with them to get the data from the backup server." wangjianshuo.com.
There have also been other instances of other weblog hosts acting along similar lines and deleting weblogswithout notifying the owners. web2.blogbeta.com.

SORRY! Wrong story.

The 2 January posting in ‘Regret the Error’ tells a sorry tale. It seems that “three newspapers recently lifted, failed to verify, and posted as news a humorous brief originally written a decade ago by RandyCassingham in his online newsletter This Is True thisistrue.com” to quote Amy Gahran in E-Media Tidbits. The “apparently guilty” papers? Toronto Star, Wisconsin State Journal and Rocky Mountain News. The blog said Cassingham "has every right to be upset. All three papers failed their readers by not checking the wire to verify the story. But the Star's infractions are by far the worst. The paper lifted the item and failed to credit any source. Then it plagiarized."regrettheerror.com.

THE FOOL AND HIS MONEY. Parted the Nigerian way.

If you’ve ever wondered what would happen if you were to respond to a Nigerian money offer, you will find the answer in Will Sturgeon’s ‘“Nigerian” money scam: What happens when you reply?’. silicon.com.

That's all for now though there's plenty more out there. Join me again next week, same place.

Copyright (c) 2001- 2006 by Deepak Mankar. All rights reserved. Deepak Mankar, an advertising practitioner on the creative side since 1965, is also intensely passionate about the web and web content creation. Read his online articles at asiaondemand.com. Website: http://www.addgandhi.com/original/. You may e-mail him at dmankar@bom8.vsnl.net.in.

First Published: Jan 09, 2006 11:59 IST