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Information Resources Management Association
Advancing the Concepts & Practices of Information Resources Management in Modern Organizations

In the Virtual World

In the Virtual World
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Author(s): Michelle W.L. Fong (Victoria University of Technology, Australia)
Copyright: 2003
Pages: 3
Source title: Information Technology & Organizations: Trends, Issues, Challenges & Solutions
Source Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-066-0.ch039
ISBN13: 9781616921248
EISBN13: 9781466665330


An increasing number of Internet users have been using the Internet’s powerful link and searching capabilities to conduct activities that were once envisaged as only feasible through the traditional communications means (such as telephone and postal system) or at the physical locations. The key technical factors driving this embracement of the Internet in our daily life has been technological innovation and improvement such as open architecture, share source code, user-friendly interfaces, and rapidly declining costs of information technology (Braga 1996, Wallis Report 1996). In Australia, although both the household and business segments have been experiencing an increasing rate of Internet technology adoption, household subscribers constitute the majority of Internet subscribers (88 percent), accounting for 58 percent of the data downloaded from the Internet in the March quarter of 2002, as compared to business and government subscribers (ABS 2002). Sixtyfour percent of the households in Australia have access to a computer at home, in which 52 percent of these households have home Internet access (NOIE 2002b). In regard to the household’s Internet adoption rate, it has been reported by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS 2001) that the annual growth in home Internet access has been exceeding growth in home computer ownership (with and without Internet facility) over the past years. Comparatively, a greater proportion of children (50 percent) used computers at home than adults (26 percent). Children under 14 years access the Internet at home mainly for school homework or educational activities (83 percent), followed by corresponding with friends or visiting chat rooms (51 percent), and browsing for leisure and playing games (40 percent). Adults’ Internet activities have been considered more wide-ranging than children’s (NOIE 2001, ABS 2000a). Besides using the Internet for emailing messages and visiting chat rooms (68 percent), general browsing (57 percent), and work related purposes (36 percent), the adults also use it for slower growth activities such as online bill payment and fund transfer (13 percent), and online shopping (7 percent). A survey conducted on ten countries1 (one of which is Australia) by the International Commissions Research found that 74 percent of current and future Internet users ranked personal use as the reason for accessing the Internet over business use (MC Marketing Intelligence 2000). This survey corroborates the aforementioned findings that the Internet has extended into our daily life and home environment.

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