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Changing Use of Internet?

CmdrTaco posted more than 9 years ago | from the everything-seems-so-different-now dept.

The Internet 181

CodeHog writes "Wired has an interesting article on the perceived changing use of the Internet. Perceived perhaps because it appears that these findings are based partly on search topics. What's more interesting is what it means to the tech community at large. Could this be a new area of tech jobs, setting up and maintaining ecommerce sites, creating search assisting applications?"

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No, it just means (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10655776)

People have already found their porn and don't need to search for it anymore.

Re:No, it just means (5, Insightful)

dagur (821323) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655878)

Or why search for pictures on altavista, when you can get video from gnutella?

Re:No, it just means (2, Informative)

Red Alastor (742410) | more than 9 years ago | (#10656108)

Not only that but corporate usage of the net increased and it's a bad idea to surf for pr0n at work. If we check home users and count P2P as you mention, I'm pretty sure it didn't droped at all.

/. Standards Compliance (OT) (1)

OldMiner (589872) | more than 9 years ago | (#10656308)

Your sig mentions that Slashdot is standards compliant in Japan. Perhaps I'm missing the joke, but Slashdot Japan [slashdot.jp] seems to use about the same slashcode version, and has all the same non-standard body tag attributes, excessive table tags, and unescaped ampersands in URLs. Could you clarify your sig?

Re:/. Standards Compliance (OT) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10656459)

I think that's referring to the "cliche" of "(something)... In Japan!". It's kind of a take-off on In Soviet Russia. It started in some slashdot thread a while back I think.

Re:No, it just means (5, Funny)

over_exposed (623791) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655888)

"Twenty percent of all searching was sex-related back in 1997; now it's about 5 percent"

You're right - it's all been bookmarked :-)

Re:No, it just means (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10655913)

This isn't funny, this is true. People don't have to search on Google anymore to find their porn, they simply go to their favorite bittorrent website, direct connect, gnutella or some other network.

Re:No, it just means (3, Insightful)

mattkinabrewmindspri (538862) | more than 9 years ago | (#10656106)

Maybe that, and/or people are still looking for the same amount of porn, but are just searching for other stuff more frequently.

Re:No, it just means (1)

IchBinDasWalross (720916) | more than 9 years ago | (#10656139)

My friend, I have a revelation for you:

http://www.pussy.org

Re:No, it just means (2, Funny)

bigman2003 (671309) | more than 9 years ago | (#10656366)

Once you go to worldsex.com, do you really need to find anything else.

This plug has nothing to do with my own involvement with the site, other than the fact that I am a very happy customer of their free porn links.

You Miles May Vary (5, Insightful)

fembots (753724) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655788)

"Twenty percent of all searching was sex-related back in 1997; now it's about 5 percent,"

Maybe people are now accessing sex-related sites via links in spams, why seek when it comes to you?

and randomly selected thousands of search sessions from more than 1 million they culled anonymously from search engines such as AltaVista.

Is AltaVista still a credible source for research?

All in all, I believe the change in searching pattern may more likely be caused by returned results. At the moment there are too many noises when searching for real sex-related sites, most of them are full of pop-up and nothing useful, but a e-commerce search may return more desirable results, thus people keep on searching them.

Re:You Miles May Vary (2, Insightful)

UCRowerG (523510) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655906)

in 1997 the internet was brand new to most of the world. there weren't things like kazaa, donkey, or morpheus that can search videos as well as music. i wonder if most people don't have websites bookmarked already or search for pr0n via personals websites, usenet, or p2p.

Re:You Miles May Vary (4, Insightful)

rednip (186217) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655961)

All in all, I believe the change in searching pattern may more likely be caused by returned results.
I still liked the research's idea
..said of the findings. "Remember when cars came out, and people would say, 'Wow, we're going for a ride today!' Now they just go for a ride."
So, I guess sex is that easy to find, why are we still having so much trouble?!

In addtion to your point about the crap that is returned by a generic search for 'sex', What I really think is happening is that the volume of searches is going up, while people are becoming familiar with 'their favorite' hotspots and they don't need to look.

Re:You Miles May Vary (2, Funny)

bigman2003 (671309) | more than 9 years ago | (#10656402)

I can remember spending DAYS looking for pictures of topless girls on Splash Mountain. DAYS.

When I found the pictures, I was pretty disappointed...but I probably still jerked off at least once. Boobs are good, almost no matter what.

Re:You Miles May Vary (4, Funny)

justforaday (560408) | more than 9 years ago | (#10656020)

At the moment there are too many noises when searching for real sex-related sites, most of them are full of pop-up and nothing useful

I don't know if i'd consider a pop-up "nothing useful" when talking about porn...

Re:You Miles May Vary (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10656030)

I believe it.. it's all bookmarked :)

Re:You Miles May Vary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10656079)

"Twenty percent of all searching was sex-related back in 1997; now it's about 5 percent,"

Maybe people are now accessing sex-related sites via links in spams, why seek when it comes to you?


Other explanations:
- those 20% of people who searched the pr0n in 1997 already bookmarked the sites.
- those people find new sites by following the links from the sites they visit and bookmark them.
- those people already filled hard drives after hard drives with pr0n to last a few life times.
- type any sex-related word (and some that are not) on the URL field and you get there.
- the novelty of accessing pr0n 24x7 is wearing off.
- they have gone blind and their hands are too hairy for typing from masturbating since 1997.

Re:You Miles May Vary (2, Insightful)

hackstraw (262471) | more than 9 years ago | (#10656264)

Maybe people are now accessing sex-related sites via links in spams, why seek when it comes to you?

Yeah, I get almost everything I need from spam. Sex, drugs, drugs for sex, real fake rolex watches, mortgages, free TVs, iPods, Xboxes, cures for SARS and AIDS, college degrees (up to PhD!), free money, cheap software and computers. All that from scanning my spam inbox.

OK, when I first saw this article, everyone knows that you cannot search for sex or porn on the net. It simply does not work. It does not work for MP3s either. Wayyyy too much corruption and bs here.

Porn is done through the tgp sites, and they are fine. If anyone needs more than what they can find from a good tgp site, they are already paying for porn in some way or another.

At the moment there are too many noises when searching for real sex-related sites, most of them are full of pop-up and nothing useful, but a e-commerce search may return more desirable results, thus people keep on searching them.

I guess we agree.

What I really want from google is for them to completely separate froogle from google. I hate doing a search for information and I get a bunch of results for selling me crap, and I don't know if I want to buy it or not. That is why I'm googling around. I've heard tips like putting '-order' or '-shipping' with searches, but thats too complex for "normal folk". I have no problem with google making $$$ from searches, but when its appropriate.

BTW, google has done a great job of eliminating blatently self-googlebombed sites. There was a time when retailers would buy a bunch of domains and have them all point to each other with the same crap on each page. That sucked.

Peace out.

Its true! (3, Funny)

Kenja (541830) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655797)

Now you can put that four years of school to work at home in your spare time selling and buying stuff on eBay for the russian mafia.

MIS (3, Funny)

craigtay (638170) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655805)

So, basically.. your telling me that I should drop out of the Computer Science program at my school and pick up a degree in MIS, so I can make crappy webpages the rest of my life?

Re:MIS (1)

dcphoenix (528517) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655949)

Exactly .... it worked for me and now my career is going great.

You can party more often because you won't need to study and best of all, that MIS degree will boost your popularity with those who stayed in the CS program.

Re:MIS (5, Insightful)

Chibi (232518) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655957)

So, basically.. your telling me that I should drop out of the Computer Science program at my school and pick up a degree in MIS, so I can make crappy webpages the rest of my life?


I have an advanced degree in computer science. Trust me, there's nothing stopping you from getting your degree and having a future filled with making crappy webpages. :)

Re:MIS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10656085)

Only if your lucky.

Re:MIS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10656141)

As opposed to CS, MIS programs generally inform students of how to accomplish something. Most CS graduates I've seen over the years couldn't code their way out of a paper bag.

Re:MIS (1)

NardofDoom (821951) | more than 9 years ago | (#10656235)

Major in MIS, minor in Chinese.

Why? Because companies will outsource crappy web-page making jobs to India who will then turn around and outsource those jobs to China.

You'll need to manage these people, so you need management skills and how to speak their language.

Besides, at the rate they're expanding the Chinese will own 80% of America by 2020, with the Saudis owning the remaining 20%.

Maybe the searching has just gotten better? (5, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655808)

What hasn't changed much in seven years is how hard people are willing to work at searching. The answer: not very. Spink and Jansen found that people averaged about two words per query and two queries per search session.

What has changed though is that two words per query gives a much more accurate result than it used to. I use google for everything including UPS Tracking, math conversions, and tracking down where/when my name/email address is used. This sort of information just wasn't available 7+ years ago.

People aren't searching so much for porn because there is so much more information that is already indexed. You used to search for X and most of the first page of results were for porn. Perhaps that's why it seemed so popular? Maybe it was because the earliest adopters of the Internet were "fringe" people more interested in finding other "fringe" activities?

Re:Maybe the searching has just gotten better? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10656013)

OI! 5% can't be wrong.

Re:Maybe the searching has just gotten better? (1)

bleckywelcky (518520) | more than 9 years ago | (#10656147)

That, or people already know where all the pr0n is located and don't need to search for it. In this day and age with all of the "Thumb Collection" websites (for both images and video), why not just go directly to the sites?

Of course, I wouldn't know first hand, I'm just relaying information that I've heard from "people I know".

Green Tennis Shoes Principle (4, Insightful)

RealProgrammer (723725) | more than 9 years ago | (#10656292)

Maybe it was because the earliest adopters of the Internet were "fringe" people more interested in finding other "fringe" activities?

I refer to that as the Green Tennis Shoes Principle. Somewhere in your area there is someone whose very favorit thing is green tennis shoes. It's their life, but no one understands. The Internet makes it possible for these isolated folks to communicate and share their perspective with each other.

Seen across the entire spectrum of favorite things, you have a whole series of microcultures (and thus micromarkets) that didn't exist 10 years ago.

It used to be that the bulk of Internet content was computer-related, since you have to have a computer to get to the Internet. It was of universal interest, and within that you had everyone from the PDP-8-lovers list to people wanting recipe programs for their Mac.

As non-geeks got connected, sex became the least common denominator. Within that (I would guess) the principle still applies, as people approach that from different points of view as well.

As people are using computers and the Internet for everything, and searches are getting easier and more effective, all the most common interests are splintering and the microcultures are maturing.

What the ramifications are for society, and civilization, is more than I can wrap my little head around.

Correction (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10655810)

That should be internets.

Ho hum (1)

AnotherDreamer (799001) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655812)

It would also be interesting to compare shopping not just with sex, but with political subject-matter.

Re:Ho hum -- OFFTOPIC (1)

CreatureComfort (741652) | more than 9 years ago | (#10656171)



Its been a long day...

I read that as combine shopping not just with sex, but with political subject matter.

Now the first two no problem, but now I have this mental image of paying certain major political candidates for sex that I can't get out of my head. Of course, we'll get screwed in the end anyway...

Sigh... another flawed research article (5, Interesting)

VE3ECM (818278) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655817)

"'Twenty percent of all searching was sex-related back in 1997; now it's about 5 percent,' said Amanda Spink, the University of Pittsburgh professor who co-authored Web Search...."

Hello? Of course it's dropped: most people don't use search engines for pr0n anymore. They use P2P!!!!

I wonder how much of a percentage increase there's been in P2P search terms?

Re:Sigh... another flawed research article (1)

Deorus (811828) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655864)

> Hello? Of course it's dropped: most people don't use search engines for pr0n anymore. They use P2P!!!!

Besides, nowadays porn is advertised everywhere and there, so noone really needs to search for it.

Re:Sigh... another flawed research article (1)

captnitro (160231) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655966)

Back in 1997, the number of internet users was lower than it is today. Now that I think about it, the rise of the web really has been an amazing transformation. I remember when my grade was trying to get funding among the teachers for a modem of triple digit speed.. anyway.

Additionally, the number of people who were *on* the internet of that lower count were, well, Slashdotters. And sometimes, you know, you're bored at work, and maybe you have a cubicle with your screen away from.. well, anyway.

I'd like to see raw data on sex-based searches, not percentages.

Re:Sigh... another flawed research article (1)

BrookHarty (9119) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655988)

Exactly.

The search engine is built into the P2P clients, who needs to hit the web for porn? I mean, Music, er. TV Commericals, ya.. Thats it..

Re:Sigh... another flawed research article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10656128)

um no....

most people looking for porn know about thehun.

there is too much worthless porn sites out ther for nothing but popups and click through generators.

Re:Sigh... another flawed research article (1)

dep01 (730107) | more than 9 years ago | (#10656415)

I agree. There are so many other more efficient ways to download pornography these days. I don't remember the last time I searched Google for something I was looking for. If there were a way to gather statistics on the search teams through multiple P2P applications, I'm sure the results would be staggering...

Yeah, well... (0, Redundant)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655821)

"Twenty percent of all searching was sex-related back in 1997; now it's about 5 percent"

That doesn't really tell us much besides how many people searched for sex-related things through a search-engine. Many people nowdays know they'll have much better luck if they use Kazaa/Bittorrent/DC++/etc.

You can't use Kazaa to buy a microwave, though.

In soviet Russia... (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10655825)

Sex searches for YOU!

Re:In soviet Russia... (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655848)

No, thats Las Vegas.

The truth speaks (1)

wurp (51446) | more than 9 years ago | (#10656096)

Your comma should be a semicolon.

The truth speaks 56k baud. (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 9 years ago | (#10656299)

No. I meant that to be written as if I were sending it over a modem, where a comma is a pause. ,,, You , see ,,, a semicolon would just be ignored, and then the whole message would ,,, wel ,, be ,,, out of ,,, time.

And Yes,,, I am Insane. ,,,, Want a cup of Tea?

Sorry, it's me (5, Funny)

Spackler (223562) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655831)

Doods,

Sorry, it was me who cut down on the sex searches and stuff. I'm getting older, and there are more things involved in life now. I know, it's an old excuse to cut down. Wife and kidz will do that to you someday as well. I had figured there was another young rebel behind me, so make sure Libby and Jenna would still get plenty of page hits in seach engines. I thought I passed the torch to some first class deviants. Instead, you search for Biz and TV and crap. You don't deserve the internet.

Spack

Re:Sorry, it's me (4, Informative)

enjo13 (444114) | more than 9 years ago | (#10656100)

I call BS... anyone who has actually been married knows that once your married your searching for porn actually INCREASES.

Cutting back (1)

ChefInnocent (667809) | more than 9 years ago | (#10656391)

I'm not sure that it's just age or marriage. When a google desktop search comes up with 1,817 results for the keyword porn, how much more do we need to search the net? When there is 300GB of images and videos filtered for preference, what more can the porn sites offer? 300GB is more than many of the pay sites out there offer.

No, think the real change is because we've been collecting the porn since 1997 (or 1987) and we just don't need any more. The 5% are 18-20 year olds starting thier collection.

Make up your mind! (2, Informative)

dema (103780) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655842)

"That makes sense because e-commerce in the last seven years has boomed," said Gary Price, news editor of SearchEngineWatch.com, a branch of Connecticut-based Jupitermedia.com, which reports on Internet surfing. (emphasis mine)

Didn't Wired say [slashdot.org] that they wouldn't capitalize "internet" any longer? Liars!

And interestingly the original story [wired.com] appears to be gone.

I envy these days. (1)

Power Everywhere (778645) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655845)

When I first started on the Internet, it consisted of academic nerds, computer scientists, a very small handful of professionals (doctors, lawyers, clergy, etc.) and system administrators. Pretty bland.

Nowadays with the great Mass on the 'net things are much more entertaining.

how old can you go (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10655882)

"Remember when cars came out, and people would say, 'Wow, we're going for a ride today!' Now they just go for a ride."

Yeah... and while we're at it... does anyone miss using the telegraph?

Wired Demographics (2, Insightful)

yintercept (517362) | more than 9 years ago | (#10656401)

"Remember when cars came out, and people would say, 'Wow, we're going for a ride today!' Now they just go for a ride."

I think Wired is getting confused about the demographic of their market. For some odd reason, I think very few of their readers can remember when cars came out. Personally, I hope some people are sitting with their grand parents, but I doubt they routinely read "Wired" articles to the dwindling population that can remember when cars came out.

PS, cars were already around when I was born, and I am considered too old by most hiring managers to program computers.

What?? ...already have them! (2, Insightful)

Transcendent (204992) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655885)

Could this be a new area of tech jobs, setting up and maintaining ecommerce sites, creating search assisting applications?

Yea... it's called a search engine...

Re:What?? ...already have them! (2, Insightful)

dilettante (91064) | more than 9 years ago | (#10656160)

I think there will be a bunch of Google-based meta businesses appearing over the next couple of years. In a couple of different industries i've seen a rough trend: a bunch of information that didn't used to be on-line is now on-line. The initial reaction is "Wow, this is great, i can do all sorts of stuff i couldn't before". But after a while you start to hear: "This isn't information, this is data. I need something to categorize, qualify, and support decisions".

So, i predict that we'll see more businesses that 1) allow alternative visual views into search results, 2) use data-mining techniques to create decision support tools, 3) provide "consulting" services to hopeless search-hampered users.

google search results (4, Insightful)

fafaforza (248976) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655894)

I don't think anyone would be surprised by or interested in these findings. All you have to see the trend is look at google search results for any product. Most results in the first few pages are for ecommerce sites. Add to that the sponsored links on the sides and top of the page. Try finding any personal pages about a Thinkpad T41.

7 years ago, few trusted the online purchasing process. Submitting credit card info, worrying about refunds and credit, vendor trustworthiness, hackers, etc.

Since then, there's been a gold rush on the Internet. All major retailers and business people moved in smelling money. That made the process of buying stuff faster, more streamlined and more secure. It takes a handfull of clicks to buy stuff on eBay and pay for it with paypal. So obviously more people were attracted by it, the process achieved mass market appeal, and it pushed everything out of the way.

I don't see where the news is.

Re:google search results (2, Informative)

texaport (600120) | more than 9 years ago | (#10656151)


Try finding any personal pages about a Thinkpad T41.

Google the next 3 words with punctuation:
IBM "my T41"

Re:google search results (1)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 9 years ago | (#10656188)

> > Try finding any personal pages about a Thinkpad T41.
>
>Google the next 3 words with punctuation: IBM "my T41"

"I love my T41, but the palm rest platic groans and creaks whenever it flexes."

Oooooh. Thinkpr0n. Kinky!

E-commerce and search, huh? (3, Interesting)

jht (5006) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655909)

In other words, that which was super-hot and world-transforming back in the late '90s gold rush is hot again?

Or is it that nowadays companies are actually simply using the Internet as a tool instead of trying to change the world? The companies that survived the meltdown are now (mostly) making money, and the new ones have learned from the lessons of the failed ones. Nobody blinks when Amazon makes a profit any more, after all.

Pr0n was what everybody was hunting for back in the days when the Internet was a novelty - but nowadays that's a wasted use of a search engine. It's not so much that the uses of the Internet have changed. It's more that the Internet isn't "shiny and new" anymore, so a lot of the things that were popular when it was a novelty aren't such a big deal any more.

Here on Slashdot, though, we just keep on chugging along...

Signs of the apocalypse (5, Funny)

xThinkx (680615) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655910)

Red Moon appears in the sky

Boston wins the world series

INTERNET BEING USED FOR SOMETHING PRODUCTIVE

Oh dear lord, we're all doomed!

Re:Signs of the apocalypse (1)

Azh Nazg (826118) | more than 9 years ago | (#10656056)

Oh, don't worry. The Red Sox have yet to get through the world series. Besides, I thought it was the moon dissapearing that was a sign of the apoco.... Wait, that happened last night, didn't it?

Re:Signs of the apocalypse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10656058)

You mean, Red Sax?

E-Commerce? (2, Funny)

Chas (5144) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655914)

Translation: They've already got all the free porn. Now they're looking to buy more.

P2P (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10655916)

I wonder how much of a percentage increase there's been in P2P search terms?

Not much, probably. P2P may be widespread, but notorious for sometimes having shaky connections and low speeds, as well as being dependent on the number of horny 30-year-olds online at a given point in time.

Re:P2P (1)

VE3ECM (818278) | more than 9 years ago | (#10656014)

Sorry, after I posted, I meant to be more elaborate about that sentence...

What I meant to say was: "how many more searches are done on search engine sites for the terms "Kazaa, kazaalite, edonkey, bittorrent" etc.

I bet we'll see a sharp increase since the Napster days.

Interesting Stat (1)

stinkyfingers (588428) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655917)

Twenty percent of all searching was sex-related back in 1997; now it's about 5 percent

They see this and find some sort of shift in the way people are using the Internet.

I see this and think "SLACKERS!!!!"

Why search for porn? (4, Insightful)

Tenebrious1 (530949) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655933)

Why would anyone need to use a search engine to look for porn? I mean, doesn't one out of every three spam messages have a link to some new porn site?

Type any word into the address bar, and chances are it'll link to some porn site. Misspell any popular website and likewise you'll see porn.

Nobody has to search for it, it's pretty hard to avoid.

Re:Why search for porn? (1)

System.out.println() (755533) | more than 9 years ago | (#10656083)

I hear Google is indexing your spam in Gmail for searching too.

"Did you mean: Viaaag.ra "

Re:Why search for porn? (1)

goofyheadedpunk (807517) | more than 9 years ago | (#10656281)

Type any word into the address bar, and chances are it'll link to some porn site.
In the interest of Geek Science I decided to conduct a little experiment.

Using the built in search abilities of Firefox I conducted "I Feel Lucky" searches with the Google search engine by typing a mixture of gibberish and common words into my address bar. Here are the results:

"lksd" returns http://www.lksd.org/
"woish" returns http://peoplesearch.reunion.com/w/woi/woish/
"asdf" returns http://www.asdf.com/
"foo" returns http://www.foofighters.com/
"apple" returns http://www.apple.com/
"ten million monkies" returns http://www.clowder.net/Nico/Monkies.html
and finally
"linux porn" returns http://www.lesbian.mine.nu/ .

Though it is realized that the data set tested compared to the number of word combination in the English language is pitiful, it is the humble opion of this Geek Scientist that you are overgeneralizing a bit.

Depression (4, Funny)

Matey-O (518004) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655935)

There's not as many sex searches cause seeing 30 new people a day getting it more than you are gets depressing after awhile.

Re:Depression (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10656398)

This is why hentai is valuable. You see, you know the guys who draw it aren't getting any either, so there's nothing to feel down about...

Why I don't search for pr0n anymore (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10655947)

I think most people, like myself, now know where to get their pr0n and don't need to search anymore. I always go straight to: www.thumbnailpost.com [thumbnailpost.com] for my free pr0n. *WARNING* THIS IS NOT A WORK_SAFE WEBSITE!

Re:Why I don't search for pr0n anymore (1)

Pegasus377 (595537) | more than 9 years ago | (#10656223)

And A perfect example of another thing contributing to the decline of pr0n as the number one search object is in the parent.... Work Safe... and the amount of oversight on networks in business environments. In 1997 work safe meant a whole different thing than it does now. What you could get away with then, is either impossible now with monitering, or is completely blocked... this means that for most, at least, is that for eight hours of the day, they must do something other than look at pr0n...

Makes sense to me (2, Insightful)

Skynet (37427) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655952)

People in search of pornography and sex are much more willing to actively search it out and be early adopters of new technologies that may further their habits. Heck, I was on USENET getting pr0n when I was still in high school!

E-commerce and shopping is more of a "mainstream" use of the Internet and it makes sense now that the Internet has become so pervasive. Even average users are learning how to go onto Amazon and order stuff. If my mother-in-law can do it, anyone can.

Re:Makes sense to me (1)

nlindstrom (244357) | more than 9 years ago | (#10656365)

Heck, I was on USENET getting pr0n when I was still in high school!
That's nothing. Why, back in the day, I was getting my pr0n over a 9600-baud modem from The Farmer's Daughter BBS!

Earth to OP, come in OP! (2, Funny)

Peldor (639336) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655962)

"Could this be a new area of tech jobs, setting up and maintaining ecommerce sites, creating search assisting applications?"

Look, man, it's over. The crazy tech boom is done. Let it go. Take some management classes or something. You keep this up and we're going to report you to Unemployed Tech Workers Anonymous and organize an intervention for you.

Don't we all... (5, Funny)

Juvenall (793526) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655972)

From the Article:
"Remember when cars came out, and people would say, 'Wow, we're going for a ride today!' Now they just go for a ride." Oh yes, how could ANY of us not remember that! Hey, you guys remember the time Lothar was smashing those rocks together and invented fire. Ahh, those were the days..

Lazyness (3, Insightful)

Ironsides (739422) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655982)

What hasn't changed much in seven years is how hard people are willing to work at searching. The answer: not very. Spink and Jansen found that people averaged about two words per query and two queries per search session.

"The searches are taking less than five minutes, and they're only looking at the first page of results," Spink said. "That's why people are wanting to get their results on the first page" of search engine results.

"We were surprised that people weren't doing more complex searches," Spink said. "If you put a couple of words into the web, you're going to get hundreds of thousands of results. I think people aren't trained very well to use the search engines."


Having worked in a college library having to help other students find stuff I am amazed at how non-geeks think all they have to do is type in a word/sentence/phrase and they think the computer will magically bring them what they are looking for. It would take an hour to get them to grasp the idea of "keywords" and that putting in more keywords only narrows the results without using any operators (AND, OR). Even when they came back with zero results they would add more words thinking that they could get a hit this time. The main reason is that most people have no idea how the search engines work and instead think that it is as capable as a human sitting down and looking at everything. When they learn how it all works they will start doing smarter seaches and get less lazy.

Re:Lazyness (1)

AWhistler (597388) | more than 9 years ago | (#10656304)

I only use a couple words at a time to search. I see what kind of results that gives me, and do a second or third search with one or more keywords if I don't find what I'm after. Plus, Minus, and Quotes are the only three punctuation marks I use.

The only time I use a sentence is when I'm searching for a quote.

Let's prove them wrong! (4, Funny)

GillBates0 (664202) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655993)

Internet users are doing far fewer searches for sex and pornography and more for e-commerce and business than they were seven years ago, University of Pittsburgh and Penn State researchers say in a new book.

There you go:
Google search for s3x [google.com]
Google search for pr0n [google.com]

In other news, "Internet searches" for the terms in question skyrocketed through the roof today leaving the UPitt and Pennstate researchers puzzled and dismayed. It appears one of the Master's thesis was withdrawn after the event. More at 11.

no more searching required (1)

georgelucas (810713) | more than 9 years ago | (#10656017)

"Twenty percent of all searching was sex-related back in 1997; now it's about 5 percent," It seems to me that porn is now served up on P2P networks so there is no need to do any "searching"

Shiny! (1)

ratboy666 (104074) | more than 9 years ago | (#10656028)

I need some PORN... ooooh, donut!

Could this be a new area of tech jobs, setting up (3, Informative)

misleb (129952) | more than 9 years ago | (#10656036)

Could this be a new area of tech jobs, setting up and maintaining ecommerce sites, creating search assisting applications?

Talk about exportable jobs...

Look at it another way (3, Interesting)

techstar25 (556988) | more than 9 years ago | (#10656049)

Back in 1997 the only people who were using the internet at all were people looking for porn. I remember in 1996 being at a friends house and seeing all the free porn and thinking "I have to get this internet thing!"
Now that the internet has become ubiquitus a much greater number of people have access and are accessing it. So now the percentage of people searching for porn is approaching the percentage of the general public who buy adult magazines, or rent adult videos (which is a lot higher that you think).

Question the data... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10656067)

"...far fewer searches for sex and pornography..."

Less searching for sex may mean less interest in sex OR it may mean that the criteria used to rate a search for sex has not kept up with the sort of sex people are searching for.

"...people averaged about two words per query and two queries per search session..."

Maybe it's just easier to find stuff now. I don't think so. Do a search on almost any exotic term and the first page on google's right hand column will offer dozens of links to people wishing to sell, "See ebay for greatest selection of VAMPIRE BAT GUANO AND PSITTACOSIS"

"...people aren't trained very well to use the search engines..."

dammit, when will google implement the ever so nice altavista NEAR relationship to go along with all the booleans. NEAR is extremely useful for weeding out those 'spam the search engine' web sites and those 'catalog of catalogs of catalogs of shit that only one company on earth actually makes' when all you want is that companies contact info.

Re:Question the data... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10656408)

Maybe it's just easier to find stuff now. I don't think so. Do a search on almost any exotic term and the first page on google's right hand column will offer dozens of links to people wishing to sell, "See ebay for greatest selection of VAMPIRE BAT GUANO AND PSITTACOSIS"

Googling 101: When using The Google, all the blue underlined thingies on the left of the page are the results. The smaller blue thingies on the right are how Google makes their money and can be ignored.

HTH

clicky (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10656409)

clicky [google.com]

Re:Question the data... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10656464)

Could someone expand on this NEAR relationship? I've never used nor heard of it before.

Or.... (5, Funny)

PhilipMckrack (311145) | more than 9 years ago | (#10656068)

Undersexed nerds have gone from 20% of the users in 1997 to 5% today as more and more *regular* people can get computers and connected to the internet.

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Pron (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10656099)

"Twenty percent of all searching was sex-related back in 1997; now it's about 5 percent," said Amanda Spink

All this means is that companies have managed to crack down on their poor, girlfriendless developers.

I'm full up (2, Insightful)

LanMan04 (790429) | more than 9 years ago | (#10656112)

"Twenty percent of all searching was sex-related back in 1997; now it's about 5 percent,"

I'd say most people have more porn than they can look at in a lifetime, and in addition now that EVERYONE is using the internet, a much smaller percentage of the overall searching population are horny geeks. I had a webpage in 97 (and was in highschool), so you can guess what part of the searching population I fell into...=)

As information becomes power ... (3, Interesting)

adzoox (615327) | more than 9 years ago | (#10656125)

There has been a fundamental shift in the way information is perceived.

The current election is the best example. More people have more access to information about this election than in any other part in history. The BLOG has reached new heights because of it. Some larger BLOGs have been able to score advertising dollar. As new topics to discuss become available - other BLOGs will pop up to debate and discuss them.

Once these BLOGs reach a certain point... you have a person who has the ability to write the content but not maintain the advertising, budget, time, maintenance.

This is where the support industry will start to focus - on the upkeep of smaller niche networks.

You'll have 20 smaller clients rather than 3 large accounts.

Change in demographics of users... (3, Insightful)

JavaLord (680960) | more than 9 years ago | (#10656136)

"Twenty percent of all searching was sex-related back in 1997; now it's about 5 percent,"

How much of this has to do with more women and old people on the internet? I doubt that the number of overall sex searches is down, but the demographics of internet users have likely changed a lot since 1997. On top of that, add in the amount of filtering software nowadays in the workplace and academia alone that discourages that sort of thing.

Less p0rn searchs? Easy... (5, Funny)

RTFA (697910) | more than 9 years ago | (#10656157)

"Twenty percent of all searching was sex-related back in 1997; now it's about 5 percent,"

Well, easy, I got a girlfiend since '98!

Manager speak (2, Insightful)

rmarll (161697) | more than 9 years ago | (#10656186)

Could this be a new area of tech jobs, setting up and maintaining ecommerce sites, creating search assisting applications?

That looks like a long winded variation on googlejacking.

Interesting final comment (1)

MrAnnoyanceToYou (654053) | more than 9 years ago | (#10656189)

"Surprising that people don't use more complex searches"

I've noticed that for shopping, simple search means biggest distributor means decent price and accountability. Is this a chicken and egg situation? Is it just a sign of more mainstream-ness to the internet? Anyone else noticed Google just doesn't pop out the best results anymore?

Capitalize Word "internet" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10656205)

"That makes sense because e-commerce in the last seven years has boomed," said Gary Price, news editor of SearchEngineWatch.com, a branch of Connecticut-based Jupitermedia.com, which reports on Internet surfing."

I thought they weren't going to capitalize the word internet anymore?

Kind of scary... (3, Interesting)

jmcmunn (307798) | more than 9 years ago | (#10656219)

The internet certainly has changed. Instead of surfing for porn or searching for hours to find an mp3 or picture or whatever, it's all at my finger tips.

But I rely so much on the internet to function on a daily basis. I think about this all the time. When I have a question now, the first place I look is Google. Very rarely can I not find an answer that comes from a relatively reputable source. And it is much quicker than any means of research.

Also, I show and pay all of my bills online. This is a big convenience, no more paper checks or bills, no more stamps.

But what would my life be like without the internet now? I can honestly say that if I were 100% cut off from the internet I would find it difficult to adjust for awhile. Sure, I can go back to snail mail and stamps and all of that without too much of a fuss, but I rely on the internet for my news most of the time as well.

But I would find it very difficult to do research of any type, or simply to answer a nagging question about whatever topic we happen to talk about at the water cooler. The convenience of having billions of web pages at my finger tips has hobbled my ability to research in any other fashion, and made me impatient when I can't get an answer in 2 minutes of Google'ing.

Anyone else out there have the same problem?

Another stat which doesn't tell the truth (1)

yetanothermike (824215) | more than 9 years ago | (#10656242)

I'm getting fed up with links to reports of bad data. This survey, the one about MP3's dying, etc... It's sad when so many people all pop on Slashdot and say the same thing about how inaccurate the report is within seconds of the posting. Too much bad data in the limelight. Do we really need it here too? At least the sites posting it get slashdotted for a while as punishment.

What the article missed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10656335)

...is that of all the ecommerce searches, 90% were for porn goods.

Futurama predicted this... (2, Funny)

Lumpmoose (697966) | more than 9 years ago | (#10656336)

"Well, thanks to the Internet I'm now bored with sex."
-Fry, A Bicyclops Built For Two

...it just happened about 1,000 years early.

you mean uses other than downloading porn? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10656392)

that's a novel idea, but I don't think it will take off.

For Porn! (Avenue Q) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10656455)

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