Friday, January 16, 2009

Measuring and visualizing the Internet

Lately I have been checking out Quantcast internet statistic tool and IBM's Many Eyes data visualization tool. I have to give props to both -- both of them are really interesting and valuable tools for many. At Twitter I gave some criticism to Quantcast regarding provided data about gender of the users. Even if it is hard to get exact information of the female and male users at a particular web service, Quantcast gives a lot of very interesting data / estimations. Definitely worth checking out.

I didn't play with IBMs Many Eyes myself, just checked out what type of visualizations other users have done so far. I searched "internet" related data and got a long list of graphs from internet penetration to use of web services. Check out the pics. Naturally one challenge with internet-related data is that data about web services from 2007 means the data is already badly outdated. The other pic "age vs. internet use" is an autobiography but it inspired me to look for similar data. We did an extensive survey on youth and social internet in Japan, South Korea and Finland. The data was gathered 2006-2007. Should be possible to look at different age groups (from 15 to 29), compare them with each other and generate similar maps of the data. I already know there are big differences between teens and 20-something when it comes to use IM vs. e-mail. Supposedly social networking and online gaming would also make differences between age groups or genders. I have to do my own Many Eyes and post the data to my blog at least!

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