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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1959.3/36335
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- CCi Digital Futures report: the Internet in Australia
- Ewing, Scott; Thomas, Julian; Schiessl, Julianne
- This report presents findings from the first survey of the Australian component of the World Internet Project (WIP), a collaborative survey-based study of the social, cultural, political and economic effects of the internet and other new communications technologies. Founded at UCLA in the United States in 1999, and now based at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg Center, the WIP has more than 25 partners in countries and regions all over the world (see Appendix III for a list of partners). The Australian partner for the WIP is the ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Innovation (CCi) at the Institute for Social Research, Swinburne University. CCi was established in July 2005 and has an ambitious research agenda organised around three key themes: creative innovation; innovation policy, and creative human capital. A central question motivating our research at the Centre has been: How does Australia build a ‘creative’ economy and society, suited to the economic, social and cultural conditions of the 21st century? This problem lies behind our interest in a better understanding of the dynamics of the internet: we believe that broadband and other ‘new internet’ technologies will be vital enablers for the emergent creative economy. Our survey of 1000 households conducted in August 2007 is the first step in filling a substantial gap in our understanding of the dynamics of the Internet in Australia. While there are widely available data on the numbers of Australians who access the internet, where they access the net and whether they have broadband or dial-up access (for example see ABS, Household Use of Information Technology 2004-05 Cat No 8146.0), there is almost no detailed, publicly available data on what people are doing online in Australia and how this varies across different sub-populations. Of particular interest are the differences between those users relying on dial-up access and those with broadband access (the Household Broadband Adoption Report undertaken for DCITA in January 2004 provides some older, basic information on this topic.) The role of broadband in the wider development of the creative economy leads us to a concern with the creative uses of the net, and especially the ways that consumers of information are gradually also becoming producers of content. Creative applications of networked content tend to require comparatively high levels of technical skill on the users’ part, and are markers of growing digital literacy. The increasing presence of user-generated content on the net also implies that users are gaining more from their online experience. So what are the characteristics of those people who are producing online content now? Is this creative activity related to age, gender, experience and skills or speed of access? There are also a series of further issues we are keen to pursue: the diffusion of broadband in Australia and reasons hindering take-up; the effects of internet usage on the consumption of other media; the uptake of social web technology; video usage; news consumption online and how it is changing; and the impact of the ‘always on' element of broadband as people move from gaining news online to entertainment. [Introduction]
- Publication type
- Research centre
- Swinburne University of Technology. Faculty of Life and Social Sciences. Institute for Social Research. ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation
- Publication year
- ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation
- Publisher URL
- Unless otherwise noted this report is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Australia licence. You are free to copy, communicate and adapt this work, so long as you attribute the ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation and the authors. For more information see http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/au.