Daily Mail survey asseses how "Web 2.0" their readers are

 by Martin Belam, 29 May 2007

Whilst I have been doing my lengthy analysis of how "Web 2.0" British newspaper web sites are, it looks like the Daily Mail have been looking down the opposite end of the telescope - trying to analyse how "Web 2.0" their readers are.

Last week whilst I visited the site a survey popped up, with some very interesting questions, aimed at establishing the audience's attitude towards the social aspects of the internet.

Question 18 specifically addressed which kind of web interactions users had taken part in:

Which of the following online activities have you participated in during the last 6 months?

* Used social networking sites like MySpace or Bebo

* Watched/downloaded a video from the internet using a mobile device

* Downloaded a podcast

* Set up / maintained a blog

* Listened to the radio via the internet

* Uploaded video to the internet

* Watched / downloaded a video over the internet

* Accessed news or information via an internet connection on a mobile device

* Uploaded pictures to the internet

* Listened to the radio via an internet connection on a mobile device

* Read a blog

* Used an RSS feed

I suspect they'll have me down as an ultra-nerd since I managed to tick nearly every box. And one of the few boxes I didn't tick - "Listened to the radio via an internet connection on a mobile device" - I did actually do at Sony NetServices when testing Vodafone Radio DJ, but since I've never done it outside of the work environment, I didn't count it.


The follow-up question featured some loaded statements designed to generate a strong response. Users were asked to rate how much they agreed or disagreed with sentences like:

Using the web is a lonely, unsociable activity

The second part of this question seemed designed to explore how well the Daily Mail's web audience has taken to their strategy of including a prominent amount of user comment within their content. Four of the ten statements were about the balance between journalistic and user-generated content.

* I prefer to read publications / websites that combine journalist and general public generated content

* I prefer to read publications / websites that occasionally publish readers' replies to certain articles / issues

* I prefer to read content solely created by professional journalists

* I prefer to read content solely generated by the general public

I'd love to be able to see how their audience answered those questions. I couldn't help feeling that the juxtaposition of "professional journalists" and "general public" might skew the results, compared to if they'd asked the same question and simply used "journalists" and "readers" instead. But then, maybe that was the point of the question.

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