[Air-l] Re: thanks to Air-l

Bram Dov Abramson babramson at telegeography.com
Sat Aug 11 12:15:00 PDT 2001

>Commercial site:
>Industry Almanac: http://www.c-i-a.com/199809iu.htm
>  Nua: http://www.nua.ie/surveys/index.cgi),
>  CyberAtlas - http://cyberatlas.internet.com
>  E-Marketer - (http://www.emarketer.com

Actually IDC is a commercial site -- which charges far, far higher 
prices than any of the "commercial sites" listed for anything they 
publish, as it happens.  (On the converse side is E-Marketer, whose 
research process consists of "aggregating" the work that everyone 
else does.)

Keep in mind too that many, even most, of these statistics tend to 
rest heavily on the others.  This is especially the case for Internet 
user statistics: ITU, eMarketer, and NUA all recompile other data and 
add it together, despite what are often fairly important differences 
in methodology between the different data sets they are reusing.  Not 
sure what ILO is using, and can't recall off the top of my head 
what's in the HDR -- IDC, maybe? -- but it would be surprising were 
their research not compiled from somewhere else.

(OECD has some nice and fairly cautious numbers on broadband deployment

AFAIK the only original research on human Internet user populations 
in the work above is that undertaken by very large firms such as IDC; 
another source is Ipsos-Reid (formerly Angus Reid), the Canadian 
company now owned by France's Ipsos.  I'm not sure how the fellow at 
C-I-A compiled his data, but I believe -- this is usually the case -- 
it has to do with multiples of Internet hosts; the multiplier may be 
derived as dependent on other variables.

The reason for this paucity is, of course, that sizing Internet user 
populations is an incredibly expensive and time-consuming process.  A 
really interesting doctoral thesis to read would be one which took 
apart and compared the various  methodologies as a way of explaining 
the wide divergences in results.  Or: data points are memes, and they 
travel, but in so doing they obscure their origins; call it a fetish 
for numbers.

/ Bram Dov Abramson
/ babramson at telegeography.com
/ Director of Internet Research
/ TeleGeography, Inc.
/ tel: +1 202 741 0047 (new numbers)
/ fax: +1 202 741 0021 (we've moved)

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