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Internet trends what does it mean for business

13 August 2014

Jeffrey Cole, Founder and Organizer, World Internet Project, and the Director of the USC Annenberg School Center for the Digital Future has for 11 years now been compiling data on Internet use and what it means for us all. The latter is a major point of difference in the centre’s studies and reports. It’s also why Jeff is known for forming strong opinions and making a call on trends around Internet use - or most interestingly non-use.

He recently gave a presentation in Sydney on the findings of the current Digital Future Project Report (2013) at which he asked his mostly over 30 audience if they knew why "most every teenager" sleeps with their mobile phone right beside their head?

It’s their alarm clock.

His observation on this was that he did not see the smart watch/exercise band reaching them because they don’t wear watches.

In the most recent report this finding on Internet non-use jumped out: “For whatever the reason, the fact remains that some 14 percent of Americans – more than 40 million people – are not Internet users. At this point in the evolution of online technology, it could easily be assumed that the Internet is accessed by everyone, just as we assume that everyone has access to a television, radio, or telephone. Will non-users find themselves increasingly marginalized or not included in the societal mainstream because they are not online?”

For all you women entrepreneurs, retailers and marketers out there, the current Digital Future Project has also begun to explore the behaviour and views of Millennials (ages 18-34) by comparing how Millennials and non-Millennials (age 35 and older) responded to several key questions in the current survey.

For example:

Millennials as mobile shoppers

Millennials are more involved with mobile shopping and comparison shopping than non-Millennials.”


Millennials and perceptions of the value of social networking sites

Higher percentages of Millennials compared to non-Millennials value social networking sites to maintain their relationships.”


Millennials and connections to marketing

Compared to non-Millennials, Millennials follow more companies or brands on Twitter, and have friended more companies or brands on social networking sites such as Facebook.”

For women in general, the data on bullying and harrassment, including unwanted sexual attention is another worrying trend. See more at:



  • Denise Hall

    Denise Hall 7 years ago

    Thanks Louise A most informative report.