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Foundation Commissions $50 Million Online Study

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the participation-gap dept.

70

PreacherTom writes, "It's not a stretch to say that kids use the Internet to play World of Warcraft and to tweak their MySpace pages. Still, the MacArthur Foundation doesn't think that is quite specific enough. The private, grant-making institution is commissioning a $50 million, five-year study to investigate precisely how and why young people use the Net. $10 million in grants is going to to individuals and organizations to work on projects that stimulate research in digital media. Sign me up."

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lkjp;jlk (1)

riff420 (810435) | more than 7 years ago | (#16761997)

Fuck that, gimme the $50. They don't use the internet, they use MYSPACE. That's fucking IT.

Re:lkjp;jlk (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 7 years ago | (#16762155)

Instead of focusing on the "old", they focus on the so called "young", yet we all are growing old and cannot do anything about it! Disappointed is me here. What the heck!

My research project... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16761999)

hugewasteofmoney.com

Give me the cash tards!

How to get rid of surplus cash (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 7 years ago | (#16762543)

Of course I did not RTFA, because that is not the point of /..

If I ran a foundation that somehow had its mitts on $50M, I'd want to find some way to get some of that money into places where it was more accessable.

Just like the SCO debacle could be interpreted as a way for Darl to pay his brother (SCO's main lawyer) hefty fees to strip SCO and get the cash into the family, I wonder whether a bit of sooping around here could uncover some similar interesting behaviour.

Re:How to get rid of surplus cash (1)

Shaper_pmp (825142) | more than 7 years ago | (#16766537)

"Of course I did not RTFA, because that is not the point of /.."

So why bother to post? You couldn't even be bothered to take the first step (RingTFA so you even know what you're talking about), so why bother taking the second step and posting on the subject? Is it because reading the article doesn't get you any attention from other posters, or just an innate desire to make a prat of yourself by talking out of your arse?

Sorry if this is harsh, but why do people take the time to post complete unmitigated shit and then wave it off with "of course I didn't RTFA... Bygones!" like that somehow excuses their time-wasting public idiocy?

Say it with me:
  • If I don't RTFA, I don't know what I'm talking about.
  • If I don't know what I'm talking about, I'm either posting something completely irrelevant - or worse, something persuasively plausable but completely wrong.
  • If I know I'm posting something completely irrelevant or plausably wrong when people are trying to have a useful discussion, I'm just getting in the way and hampering their efforts for fun.
  • If I'm getting in people's way and hampering their activities for fun, I'm more interested in demanding attention than in contributing meaningfully to the discussion.
  • If I'm more interested in demanding attention than learning and communicating with others, I'm a cock. Pure and simple.


Sorry to round down on the OP in particular, but it happens a lot and there's really no excuse for it.

Posting "I didn't RTFA" == Cocketry.

"If I ran a foundation that somehow had its mitts on $50M, I'd want to find some way to get some of that money into places where it was more accessable."

Then you're a thief. Not everyone is like that.

"Just like the SCO debacle could be interpreted as a way for Darl to pay his brother (SCO's main lawyer) hefty fees to strip SCO and get the cash into the family, I wonder whether a bit of sooping around here could uncover some similar interesting behaviour."

Except that, had you RTFA and not knee-jerk cock-posted you would have found out:

  1. It's the well-respected MacArthur Foundation [wikipedia.org] , one of the biggest and most well-known philanthropic organisations in the USA, if not the world.
  2. They have assets in excess of 5 billion - when you're managing money like that even 50 million dollars is downgraded from "tempting target" to "pocket change".
  3. Surprise! The /. summary was wrong. It's not even a single $50 million study - instead $10 million goes to "individuals and organizations to work on projects that stimulate research in digital media or explore new approaches to educational innovation", and the remaining $40 million "will be put towards fulfilling the broader aim of connecting researchers, educators, youth, and practitioners in different disciplines"


So...

Didn't RTFA, or even the /. summary? Check.
Posted half-baked baseless conspiracy theory? Check.
Wasted people's time reading irrelevant ass-wash posted to Slashdot? Check.
Slandered well-known philanthropic organisation dedicated solely to helping people? Check.
Made cock of self in public? Check.

So, y'know... ultimately... was it really worth it?

Odds are the results will be less than useful (3, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#16762003)

since all of these technologies are relatively young and constantly changing, and any conclusions they may draw will likely be obsolete by the time they're published.

Re:Odds are the results will be less than useful (1)

TheCache (932862) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763531)

Exactly! In 5 years the users and the reasons will be entirely different

Re:Odds are the results will be less than useful (1)

tehwebguy (860335) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763749)

here are a few things that most of the general 'net using public didn't really use five years ago:

bit torrent
youtube
itunes
digg
blogs
social networking

DUH! who will tell some researcher he DLs via P2P? (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763875)

Seriously.. given the rabid flailing and bandying of lawsuits by our friends in the media cartels, who is honestly going to answer "yes" to the question "do you download via P2P?" to anyone outside their known friends?

I thought the data was already in on this.. 30% of bandwidth is being used by bit torrent alone.

Re:Odds are the results will be less than useful (1)

schnooka_boy (1023007) | more than 7 years ago | (#16764629)

I disagree; although internet fads and games are always changing, the things that make the internet appealing are fairly constant. Using the internet to promote ideas didn't start or end with blogs. Online gaming communities didn't start or end with WoW. Weird internet humor didn't start or end with goatse.

Re:Odds are... (1)

Roadkills-R-Us (122219) | more than 7 years ago | (#16774149)

That was my first thought. In 5 years, about 80% of the data will be too antiquated to be of more than historical (or perhaps trendy (sic)) value.

I'd settle for $25 million... (2, Insightful)

parasonic (699907) | more than 7 years ago | (#16762043)

...and I know that I wouldn't get it. But here's your sad end result: porn.

Now if they would now divert their attention elsewhere with that $50 million. Case closed!

Re:I'd settle for $25 million... (1)

topham (32406) | more than 7 years ago | (#16762059)


Porn, and 'hookups'.

So, sex, and more sex.

how is this a surprise?

Re:I'd settle for $25 million... (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#16762277)

don't forget: warez.

Re:I'd settle for $25 million... (1)

owlnation (858981) | more than 7 years ago | (#16762493)

and also indirectly sex too. For example - promote your band on Myspace - get laid... promote your video on YouTube thus look interesting - get laid.

Re:I'd settle for $25 million... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16763985)

Please tell, what are these 'hookups' of which you speak?

Re:I'd settle for $25 million... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16762289)

Well, also it's free, and usually they just have to click something that says "Yes, I am 18." Back when I was under 18, that wouldn't have stopped me.

That'd only be for boys (1)

melted (227442) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763151)

Girls don't browse porn.

Re:That'd only be for boys (1)

edremy (36408) | more than 7 years ago | (#16769043)

Of course not. They're all too busy posting photos of themselves kissing other girls on Myspace and stripping for their boyfriend on cam.

Re:That'd only be for boys (1)

parasonic (699907) | more than 7 years ago | (#16790387)

Correct.

ALLAH ACKBAR!! (1)

GET THE FACTS! (850779) | more than 7 years ago | (#16762093)

ALLAH ACKBAR!! ALLAH ACKBAR!! ALLAH ACKBAR!! ALLAH ACKBAR!! ALLAH ACKBAR!! ALLAH ACKBAR!! ALLAH ACKBAR!! ALLAH ACKBAR!! -- Lameness filter encountered. Post aborted! Reason: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING. Lameness filter encountered. Post aborted! Reason: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING. Lameness filter encountered. Post aborted! Reason: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING. Lameness filter encountered. Post aborted! Reason: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING.

5 Years?? (5, Insightful)

HeXetic (627740) | more than 7 years ago | (#16762101)

A *5-year long* study about the Internet? Come on, by the time the study is complete, it'll be irrelevant as peoples' internet usage habits will have changed.

Re:5 Years?? (1)

krell (896769) | more than 7 years ago | (#16762283)

"A *5-year long* study about the Internet? Come on, by the time the study is complete, it'll be irrelevant as peoples' internet usage habits will have changed."

That's awfully insightful. After all, the hottest "trends" in the net now are the myspace-like social sites, and amateur video (Youtube). These were hardly a blip on the radar 5 years ago. However, I don't think its scandalous, as if the government was wasting money on something like this study.

Re:5 Years?? (1)

owlnation (858981) | more than 7 years ago | (#16762529)

People's habits changed? .... I think not. Five years ago the answer would have been porn. Today it is porn, and in five years time it will be porn. In five hundred years in whatever replaces the internet the answer will also be porn. In five thousand years... anyway, you get the point...

Re:5 Years?? (1)

HeXetic (627740) | more than 7 years ago | (#16762771)

But the porn has moved from small, dirty BBS systems, to small, creepy newsgroups, to small, creepy websites, to small, creepy videos on YouTube. I mean the study might as well conclude that people go on "the Internets in order to get entertainment and information", which is about as detailed and informative as a pre-bubble .com investor's prospectus.

Re:5 Years?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16763481)

You think things have changed that much in the last five years? How about looking back five years instead... Google was already king. Amazon eBay were successful businesses, entrenched and household names. We didn't have Bittorrent, but we did have Morpheus and Kazaa and Limewire and maybe the very last days of Napster. The "blogs" weren't as ubiquitous and Myspace wasn't here yet but Livejounal and the like were certainly extremely popular. Online gaming (CS and Quake3, Everquest) was as big a business then as now. Flash ads were just as annoying. Teens used IM. What else?

What have the big changes been? iTunes? Youtube? Wikipedia? Wireless and/or the internets on cell phones? Great things and revolutionary but they haven't changed the landscape to make it unrecognizable. Go to sleep for five years, wake up in front of a state of the art 2011 computer and I think you will see that while there are a lot of new bells and whistles things are funamentally not much difference. If there is a revolutionary development that changes the way we interact with technology it will not happen overnight...
Five years is simply not that long.

Generator sites (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16762115)

I think 'generator sites' and stuff like YTMND [ytmnd.com] or Objection! [mrdictionary.net] would be useful to investigate because there's a big cross section of users and influences all coming together to create wild and varied (well... maybe just wild then) content.

If only there was some way to know (2, Funny)

joe_bruin (266648) | more than 7 years ago | (#16762133)

How can I tell if this is a trap?

Re:If only there was some way to know (1)

aquabat (724032) | more than 7 years ago | (#16762563)

When in doubt, check the tagging beta tags.

Re:If only there was some way to know (1)

Who235 (959706) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763899)

How can I tell if this is a trap?


The same way you can tell if something is fud.

I have the answer right here: (1)

The Real Toad King (981874) | more than 7 years ago | (#16762171)

Porn.

Re:I have the answer right here: (1)

77Punker (673758) | more than 7 years ago | (#16762209)

I'm going to conduct some stimulating research with my digits about this "porn" you speak of. That's what they want, right?

a 5 year study? (1)

snero3 (610114) | more than 7 years ago | (#16762183)

Wouldn't the kids use the of internet have changed in that period of time?

Re:a 5 year study? (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#16762427)

More likely, the use of kids on the Internet will have changed by then.

Usage (4, Insightful)

hadhad69 (1003533) | more than 7 years ago | (#16762187)

#4 Plagiarism

give me $10 million (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 7 years ago | (#16762213)

i'm a bargain:

the answer is pr0n, WoW, and AIM

heck, i'm a nice guy, i'll cut my fee in half: $5 million please

5 Years? (1)

MrCawfee (13910) | more than 7 years ago | (#16762217)

Odd that all of the things listed in the article's summary are less than 5 years old, will the results after 5 years even be realavent?

(except for the "porn" answer).

save your money (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 7 years ago | (#16762219)

the internet is mostly a dump truck full of pr0n and Linux ISOs

Oblig (1)

Constantine XVI (880691) | more than 7 years ago | (#16762255)

But the Internet isin't a truck you dump stuff on, it's a series of tubes!

how and why? (1)

DragonTHC (208439) | more than 7 years ago | (#16762229)

it's the last wasteland.
the final frontier.
the wild west.

youth uses the internet because they aren't told how and why to do so.

Ask the experts (3, Funny)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 7 years ago | (#16762271)

They're spending $50 million to do the same thing that spyware authors make money doing.

It's a rip off. (1)

oskay (932940) | more than 7 years ago | (#16762279)

I'd do it for only 25 million dollars.

OK kids, it's not funny anymore (3, Insightful)

sootman (158191) | more than 7 years ago | (#16762439)

Can someone write a greasemonkey thingie so I never have to see 'itsatrap' again? And maybe strip out 'fud, notfud' as well?

Re:OK kids, it's not funny anymore (1)

RandomPrecision (911416) | more than 7 years ago | (#16762975)

But you can't just block all instances of 'itsatrap' - what if the good Admiral really did want to warn you?

For that matter, what if Ackbar himself is behind today?

While we're at it... (1)

patio11 (857072) | more than 7 years ago | (#16764873)

... strip out anything which incorporates a word from the title or the name of the editor. And, since words from the title (thank you, but I understood that "Vista delayed again" was related to "Vista" and "delayed" without the helpful Web2.0 crew digesting it for me), fud/notfud, and stupid jokes comprise the entire set of Slashdot tags, we can just optimize out the feature to save screen space.

itsatrap (1)

Chris Pimlott (16212) | more than 7 years ago | (#16762499)

A bit off topic, I know, but this itsatrap stuff is really getting out of hand. Every single story on the front page now has "itsatrap". I love Admiral Ackbar [wikipedia.org] as much as the next guy, but there is such a thing as overdoing it.

Boobs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16762521)

I'll take my $50 million now, thank you.

Finally! (2, Interesting)

schnooka_boy (1023007) | more than 7 years ago | (#16762601)

Honestly, I'm surpsied it's taken this long. Internet use and culture is fascinating, I don't see how psychology can be such an enormous field and yet no one's begun a real effort analyze internet behavior. If you read the article, I'm certain they aren't just going to be analyzing what people are spending their time on (yeah, yeah, we all know teens just look at porn between emo bulletin posts to their Myspace). It should be more indepth then that. Of course, it's debatable if psychological findings really mean anything, but I'm happy to see that people are finding potential in internet psychology.

Alright.. (2, Insightful)

l0cust (992700) | more than 7 years ago | (#16762629)

There are so many carbon copy (WOW,MySpace,AIM) comments, which will be repeated by some other clueless bums trying to act smart. So we can safely say that Adults use internet to try to find one amusing statement/quote and repeat it over and over again till everyone is sick of it, then they move on to the next one.

Seriously, whats with the negative remarks. Don't you think just maybe some other purpose behind the study apart from which sites 'young' people like to visit and what they use to kill their bandwidth. If the question was more general "What do people use net for?" then the first comment would have been "Porn" - which although amusing and not entirely incorrect, would have been far from the complete picture.

For example: Most of the people hate seeing ads (targeted or otherwise) but there is a reason why websites have come to realise that putting huge blinking Flash ads on the pages is a bad idea and have started to move away from the stupid idea (Google ads anyone?). Online usage research can be productive if put to good use.

50 Million?!?!?! 5 years?!?!? (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 7 years ago | (#16762713)

In 5 years, the Internet won't look anything like it does today, those children will be in different age groups, and the results won't be meaningful anymore. You can't spend 5 years to determine something that changes significantly every 1-3 years.

OK, Seriously (0, Offtopic)

Espectr0 (577637) | more than 7 years ago | (#16762787)

Offtopic, but...
Who is tagging every article "itsatrap"? Please stop abussing the tagging system. It is meant to be used to easily search for stories, not for memes or comments.

Misleading Article Title (3, Informative)

vmardian (321592) | more than 7 years ago | (#16762847)

It's not a five year study, it's a five year initiative TO STUDY online culture.

"... the MacArthur Foundation will give $10 million in grants to individuals and organizations to work on projects that stimulate research in digital media or explore new approaches to educational innovation....The remaining $40 million will be put towards fulfilling the broader aim of connecting researchers, educators, youth, and practitioners in different disciplines (and across sectors). A digital knowledge hub is already in the works, so that teachers from around the world can compare, contrast, and share research, tools, and findings through open-source software and online forums."

My prediction: (0, Redundant)

noidentity (188756) | more than 7 years ago | (#16762925)

#4 Plagiarism

5 years?!? (0)

A nonymous Coward (7548) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763017)

Wholly mackerel, that's decades, centuries even, in internet time!

I wonder how they will factor that in, or if that is indeed part of the study.

I should RTFA, but this is /..

Aiding the study (1)

illuminatedwax (537131) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763025)

I'll submit my own observation: people use the internet to post "it's a trap" on anything they possibly can.

New Study Results (1)

Greymoon (834879) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763035)

A new study just released finds that 5 year Studies of the Internet are a colossal waste of money, providing volumes of statistical nothingness. Study researchers reportedly studying the problem.

so if I finish the study (0, Redundant)

AndresCP (979913) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763115)

Here are the findings of your study: Young people use the Internet TO LOOK AT PORN. 50 million dollars, please!

The Myth of Porn (2, Interesting)

overtly_demure (1024363) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763169)

I suspect that the heyday of porn on the net is passed. Gone are the days when people posted galleries of every pornographic image known to man and damn the copyrights. It is all pay to play now, except for some rather nasty free and "amateur" stuff, and I seriously doubt that many teenagers are forking over for pornsite subscriptions.

Of course, it depends on what you mean by "young people."

What fraction of slashdot readers, male or female, have spent more than US$100 in the past 24 months on internet porn?

Re:The Myth of Porn (1)

Are you a NIGGER (850302) | more than 7 years ago | (#16764761)

What fraction of slashdot readers, male or female, have spent more than US$100 in the past 24 months on internet porn?

Line 1: Fatal error: Division by zero.

Re:The Myth of Porn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16764999)

Google Images and flickr can provide quite a lot of pornographic entertainment.

Add in peer2peer and you get as many gigs as you want to, all for the price of sharing some linux distros (DC++) or sharing nothing (Shareaza) or sending some randon bits (BitTorrent).

I have an answer for you (0, Troll)

DJ Jones (997846) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763245)

Maybe kids use the internet to submit obvious and repeat blog entries on slashdot.

Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16763411)

Biggest waste of money I've ever heard of. But we're America so we can roll like that.

I use it to... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16763979)

Steal things... Like a pirate. Yarr!! Seriously: Music, Movie's, anything a large corporation tries to sue young children and/or grandmothers over.

For $10M I will tell you why... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16764435)

pr0n.

Glorious Glorious pr0n.

Big fat titties. Pert Nipples. Slim Asses.

How far mankind has come since we crawled out of the mud.
Huuuh huhhh... "come"

Excuse me I need to log onto Myspace while I masturbate to
the HOT BABES sent for $5/day to my mobile phone.

The end is near, thank God.

pics (1)

The evil doctor Matt (847030) | more than 7 years ago | (#16767203)

Back when I was a lad it used to take 30 minutes to download one 16 color pr0n pic... Now it takes only 10 minutes to download movies... I think the better question is what are the youth of today doing with all of the extra spare time?

5 years is to long (1)

J05H (5625) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768215)

If they spend 5 years performing the study an entire "generation" of network users will change over in that time. Think how much the online experience has changed in 5 years. This is a study in watching user tastes and technology change.

No, the cat does not "got my tongue." (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768493)

The private, grant-making institution is commissioning a $50 million, five-year study to investigate precisely how and why young people use the Net.


MacArthur Foundation Trustee: You've spent $49.98 million so far, and your report is due tomorrow. What have you found out?

Guy surfing MySpace and playing WoW: Ummmm...I'm almost done with it. I'll email it by COB tomorrow.

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