Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Nielsen: Reading Online

"Print is having some issues at the moment, which may be like saying New Orleans took on some water. Insults fly, playground-style, about how long one published entity or another will be alive. Microsoft's CEO says no ink-on-paper newspapers or magazines by 2018; someone else says there'll be no Microsoft by then either. Newsweek will be gone in five years, predicts a columnist willing to bet dinner on it; I prefer steak, the magazine's editor shoots back.

A study released last week by the Internet research firm Nielsen Online revealed a part of the problem: People in the computer age are probably reading more than they ever have, so it's difficult to convince them to do more of it. It's the same 24-hour day that's always existed, recalling Mark Twain's quote about the wisdom of investing in land because they're not making any more of it.

People on average spend two hours a day, or more in many cases, reading online at work or home, according to the latest Nielsen study involving about 30,000 users.

Little wonder that they have less inclination, or time, to read apart from that. If my job required me to go to the gym for two hours a day, I'd probably have less need, and even less desire, to go before or after work."

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