[Air-l] Beyond Diffusion? (re: UCLA Internet Use Report)

RG Lentz rgmagnolia at earthlink.com
Thu Dec 6 09:28:17 PST 2001

This is an interesting thread, and encouraging not to be the only one 
hanging out on a limb, as it were. I'm curious if a special session might 
be proposed at the next conference on the whole subject of this survey 
enterprise related to technology use/adoption (prefer that to 'deployment' 
or 'penetration'), Internet behavior, perhaps bringing together the chief 
architects (met several of them recently at a conference in Austin, Texas, 
e.g., John Horrigan at Pew; James McConnaghey (sp?) at NTIA, etc.) from 
federal agencies as well as academics who have contributed to this 
tradition (e.g., UCLA, Tomas Rivera, etc.) and perhaps academics who have 
conducted extractions from these as contributions related to the digital 
divide (e.g., Hoffman and Novak; Katz; Kahin, Schement; Compaine, etc.). It 
seems a missed opportunity not to be asking more of this research 
theoretically and methodologically in terms of regional/local contexts and 
also given the fact that many public policy remedies are institutionally, 
not household, diven (e.g., e-rate, the TIF fund in Texas, etc.). And what 
to make of household use vs. connection to 'available' infrastructure 
(broadband studies by the RUS at the Dept. of Agriculture)? Suppose we 
called this initiative something like 'beyond diffusion' and started out 
with some rather new excavations, questions related to more structural 
issues, than consumer ones. That said, it would also be interesting to 
include such actors as Consumers Union (that has as yet not made much 
progress in assessing QOS and report carding/benchmarking telecom services? 
Or am I misinformed?) as well as Jupiter and other private sector research 
organizations (including Gartner, etc. who seem to be the sources that many 
state government offices depend on). Any takers? B. Lentz, Austin, Texas

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