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Friday, February 24, 2006
 

Google starts webpage creation tool

Google has introduced a new do-it-yourself website builder facility. The initiative, known as Google Page Creator, attempts to simplify the creation of web pages with minimal knowledge of HTML and allow non-techies to get a web presence as quickly as possible. As a simplistic way for less-technical people to put up a web page, the free service will compete with products from Microsoft, Apple Computer, Adobe and News Corp.'s MySpace. Individual pages will be hosted at "username.googlepages.com" and each user will be able to store up to 100 megabytes of information, including images. Pages created with Page Creator will be crawled by Google within a few hours, making the content immediately searchable. This is an advantage over other web-site hosts, which can take days to be included in Google's search results. Google has often noted its desire to make all the world's information searchable! Page Creator fits with that goal, especially if it is integrated with content uploaded to the web with the company's other properties like Blogger, Base and Picasa. If combined with Gmail and Google Talk, the service could take on a social-networking flavor, which analysts note Google lacks when compared with Web portal competitors like Yahoo! or openBC. In order to compete with a social site like MySpace, however, Page Creator's customization options will have to increase. In the current beta version, only four basic templates and 41 designs are available, though Google is actively soliciting feedback from beta testers on its site. - Google Sets Sites on User-Generated Web Pages - Build a website with Google - Techtree.com - Newsday - TechNewsWorld - InformationWeek

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Saturday, February 18, 2006
 

Web surfers just want to have fun

Nearly one-third of American Internet users surveyed said they go online just for fun rather than to check e-mail, read news or use a search engine, a sharp increase from a year ago, the Pew Internet & American Life Project said. Among the dozens of activities that are tracked on an average day by the Pew Internet Project, the act of surfing for fun trails only the more purposeful activities of doing their email and using search engines, and lies in a virtual dead heat with reading the news. Two-thirds of all internet users have tried surfing the Web, and in a survey conducted in December 2005, nearly half of those, some 40 million people, said they were surfing for fun on a typical day during the month. This number is up from 25 million people who were browsing for no particular reason in November 2004, the most recent time when this question was asked by the Pew Internet Project.
"This tells us the internet is another place where people increasingly go to while away their time or just to hang out. That has potentially big consequences for the way people spend their time".
A survey of 1,931 Internet users conducted by Pew in late November and December 2005 found 30% of respondents said they went online "for no particular reason" on the previous day.
  • 34% of online men were surfing for fun on an average day in December, compared with 26% of women.
  • 37% of internet users between ages 18 – 29 were browsing for fun on an average day; 31% of those ages 30 – 49; 24% of those over age 50.
  • 39% of home broadband users were browsing for fun on a typical day, compared with 23% of dial up users.
  • That was up from 21% in a November 2004 survey. Pew credited the increase on growing availability of broadband access and expanding Web content. When it comes to other online pursuits, Pew said that sending or receiving e-mail ranked highest with 52% of Internet users saying they did this on a typical day. Using a search engine ranked second with 38%, while reading news online was third with 31%. Pew said the margin of error on the survey was plus or minus 2% points. - Web surfers just want to have fun - Study: Internet Users Go Online for Fun - Ars Technica - Playfuls.com - NBC5.com - All Headline News
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