The Internet as social ally
First Monday

The Internet as social ally by Amy Tracy Wells and Lee Rainie



Abstract
How do people use the Internet to solve problems? Employing quantitative and qualitative data from two surveys, one in which a random selection of the U.S population responded and one in which a self–selected group of people responded, we argue that individuals use different sources and channels to seek information and assistance, depending on the problem they face. We find that a significant portion of online Americans turn to the Internet at times because it seems to fulfill their needs more readily and thoroughly than the people in their community network do. We present evidence of when people use the Internet versus seeking the assistance of friends and family and possible reasons for this behavior. This research demonstrates how, to what extent, when and why the Internet supplements people’s lives.

Contents

Network capital and information seeking
Methodology
Results
Discussion

 


 

Network capital and information seeking

People rely on our personal community network of friends, neighbors, relative and workmates for their assistance in acquiring information and solving problems (Wellman and Frank, 2001). Many also rely on the Internet for the same reasons. Is there a connection between the two? Does their Internet use decrease or increase their social interactions with their community networks and therefore affect network capital? For example, is the Internet a substitute for face–to–face communication? That is, is there a one–to–one trade off of asocial technological activity for social activity? Alternatively, do individuals use the Internet to supplement their problem–solving activities? These questions are important in the debate on the role of the Internet on interpersonal relations (Quan–Haase and Wellman, 2004; Bargh and McKenna, 2004; Wellman, et al., 2001; Putnam, 2000).

There is an added layer of complexity in this discussion. Specifically, what does it mean to say that information seeking behavior supplements or augments a person’s community network (Bessière, et al., 2008; Quan–Haase and Wellman, 2004; Robinson, et al., 2002)? Does this mean that Internet use extends or expands existing communications channels? That is, does it widen channels (Howard, et al., 2001)? Or does it enhance or even make communications better? These questions speak to the central questions about the role of the Internet in people’s lives. If the Internet, as we will argue, at times extends and enhances social interactions, then the Internet as other technologies before it would seem to facilitate communications rather than fundamentally change them (Fischer, 1992). This means that Internet usage can be situated in daily activities rather than be conceived as a separate domain (Shklovski, et al., 2006; Wellman and Hogan, 2004).

This paper examines active information seeking behaviors (Wilson, 1997; 2000). Survey data are presented that demonstrate how people solved specific problems using a variety of sources and channels (Estabrook, et al., 2007). These data specify how, to what extent and when people turn to personal sources such as family and friends (i.e., their social network) and Internet–based sources for answers. In addition, findings from an online survey are presented that demonstrate some of the affective reasons people cite to explain their information seeking (Rainie and Wells, 2008). This data helps to explain why individuals solicit help from family and friends, the Internet or both.

 

++++++++++

Methodology

Two studies by the Pew Internet & American Life Project (PIAL) are cited here: The first we call Information searches that solve problems (2007). It was a random digit dial survey of 2,796 US adults (≥18 years of age) with and without Internet access conducted between 27 June and 4 September 2007 [1]. The sample was weighted to be representative of the adult U.S. population. In the sample 64 percent had broadband access [2] to the Internet at home or at work (n=1,702). Another 13 percent of the sample use dial–up connections and 23 percent do not use the Internet at all. The survey oversampled this “low access” population in order to ensure that our results are statistically robust (n=1,579).

Respondents were asked to choose from a list of 10 decisions or situations they had dealt with over the past two years. Then they were asked to focus on their search behavior during the most recent episode they had encountered among those on our list [3]. These included dealing with illnesses, school enrollment, getting work–related training, changing jobs and dealing with a variety of major government benefit programs. Respondents were asked about their use of a variety of information sources as they dealt with the issue. Specifically, did they use the Internet, professionals, friends and family, newspapers and magazines, government offices or agencies, television and radio or the library?

The second data source used here we call the Personified Internet survey. It was an online poll of 271 self–selected respondents who have previously responded to PIAL surveys and indicated a willingness to be contacted in the future. Demographically, respondents were largely female (54 percent vs. 31 percent), white (74 percent) and between the ages of 30–64 (34 percent were 30 to 49 and 36 percent were 50 to 64) .This sample is very Internet–savvy and likely overstates the degree to which the Internet is important in their lives, compared to the general population. In addition, the respondents in this convenience sample are more likely than the general population of internet users to produce Internet content through such activities as blogging or posting photos online. This means they might be more inclined to turn to the Internet for information and to share information than others; thus, their views about the efficacy of the Internet are relatively high. Their responses were collected between 26 February and 9 March 2008.

Respondents to the online Personified Internet survey were asked why they use the Internet to locate information instead of seeking assistance from a friend or family member. They were also asked what types of information they seek for themselves personally and professionally and their motivations for doing so. Many of the questions in the sample were followed by open–ended questions that generated qualitative responses that may help to explain the findings from the first survey.

 

++++++++++

Results

Problem–solving

When asked to focus on problems they had faced in the previous two years, respondents to the Information searches that solve problems survey reported on average using slightly fewer than three sources in order to gather information and solve their problems. Table 1 (The percentage of people who said they used these sources to gather information) shows the specific percentage of respondents in the sample who used each kind of information source to answer their information needs. It also shows the range of responses for the other sources and channels (i.e., professionals, printed material, broadcast media, and government agencies).

These categories distinguish between those persons who comprise the core part of their personal community network, the Internet and other sources and channels. Clearly different kinds of problems generate different kinds of informational needs and that dictates the resources people use. For example, when dealing with a serious illness or other health condition, respondents who had faced those concerns turned to friends and family more than to the Internet. However, at 54 percent, the Internet was an important and often used source for these respondents. And, when making a decision about school enrollment, financing school, or upgrading work skills more people turned to the Internet more (63 percent) than friends and family (57 percent) or any of the other sources (≤62 percent). This alternating pattern is typical of all 10 of the problems respondents were asked about. Sometimes friends and family were consulted more and sometimes the Internet was consulted more.

 

Table 1: The percentage of people who said they used these sources to gather information.
ProblemFriends & FamilyInternetProfessionals advisors, newspapers and magazines, government office or agency, television and radio or the library
(min–max percentages presented)
[min–max]
Dealing with a serious illness or other health condition59%54%51–72%
Making a decision about school enrollment, financing school, or upgrading work skills57%63%49–62%
Dealing with a tax matter40%47%41–52%
Changing a job or starting a business36%34%29–35%
Getting information about Social Security or military benefits23%25%26–40%
Getting information about voter registration or a government policy23%30%24–34%
Becoming a citizen or helping another person with an immigration matter6%7%6–8%

 

However, access to the Internet and in particular broadband access makes a difference in terms of information seeking. As Table 2 (Different rates of Internet and friends and family usage based on dial–up and broadband access) indicates, when asked about the decision or situation they had most recently encountered and therefore have the greatest recall of, more respondents with broadband reported turning to the Internet rather than to friends and family. Specifically, those with broadband access were:

  • 33 percent more likely to use the Internet when dealing with a serious illness or other health condition;
  • 36 percent more likely to use the Internet when dealing with a tax matter;
  • 19 percent more likely to use the Internet when changing a job or starting a business;
  • 29 percent more likely to use the Internet when getting information about social security or military benefits;
  • 53 percent more likely to use the Internet when getting information about voter registration or a government policy; and,
  • 31 percent more likely to use the Internet becoming a citizen or helping another person with an immigration matter than to consult friends and family.

This means that for six out of seven important decisions and situations that they had confronted in the last year, respondents with broadband used the Internet significantly more than they consulted with friends and family. In contrast, respondents with dial–up were not as likely to use the Internet. Specifically, those with dial–up access were:

  • 16 percent more likely to use the Internet when dealing with a serious illness or other health condition; and,
  • 24 percent more likely to use the Internet when dealing with a tax matter.

This means that for only two out of seven important decisions and situations that they had confronted in the last year, respondents with dial–up access used the Internet significantly more than they consulted friends and family.

This analysis demonstrates the strength of the Internet as a source of information compared with friends and/or family. Part of the reason why this is important is because parents, adult children, siblings and friends provide distinctive patterns of support including information and emotional support (Wellman, et al., 1997; Wellman and Wortley, 1990). That is, each of these people provides different types and levels of interpersonal support. By combining these two sources we have effectively increased the likelihood one or the other being a source of information and yet, amongst respondents with broadband access, who tended to consult friends and family more, the Internet was often their preferred channel for solving problems.

It is also important because specific increases are presented. First, it situates the analysis in the context of the decision–making and problem–solving of respondents. Second, specific figures are presented that measure the importance of the Internet as against friends and family as a source of information. What this means is that on a case–by–case basis the importance of each has been measured.

 

Table 2: Different rates of Internet and friends and family usage
based on dial–up and broadband access.

Note: * significant in a 10 percent or better test.
 Dial–up accessBroadband access
Friends & familyInternetP
(two–tailed)
Friends & familyInternetP
(two–tailed)
Dealing with a serious illness or other health condition54%70%0.035*49%82%0.000*
Making a decision about school enrollment, financing school, or upgrading work skills46%57%0.10256%62%0.105
Dealing with a tax matter41%65%0.044*24%60%0.000*
Changing a job or starting a business63%59%0.41958%78%0.001*
Getting information about Social Security or military benefits21%52%0.01035%64%0.012*
Getting information about voter registration or a government policy28%43%0.09123%76%0.000*
Becoming a citizen or helping another person with an immigration matter14%38%0.15347%78%0.005*

 

Is there a significant difference between the respondents with broadband access and dial–in access in their use of friends and family? That is, does either group vary in the rate at which they consult friends and family? Table 3 (Rates of friends and family usage based on dial–up and broadband access) shows that for four out of seven decisions and situations, both groups consulted friends and family at the same relative rate, no more and no less. However, in three instances, respondents with broadband access consulted friends and family less. Specifically, when making a decision about school enrollment, financing schools or upgrading school or upgrading work skills; when dealing with a tax matter or becoming a citizen or helping another person with an immigration matter respondents with broadband access were shown to have used the Internet significantly more than respondents with dial–up access.

 

Table 3: Rates of friends and family usage based on dial–up and broadband access.
Note: * significant in a 10 percent or better test.
ProblemDial–up accessBroadband accessP
(two–tailed)
Dealing with a serious illness or other health condition0.0540.4920.209
Making a decision about school enrollment, financing school, or upgrading work skills0.4630.5600.027*
Dealing with a tax matter0.4130.2430.045*
Changing a job or starting a business0.6250.5780.364
Getting information about Social Security or military benefits0.2120.3540.068
Getting information about voter registration or a government policy0.2760.2310.138
Becoming a citizen or helping another person with an immigration matter0.1410.4680.009*

 

Conversely, is there a significant difference between the respondents with broadband access and dial–in access in their use of the Internet? That is, does either group vary in the rate at which they use the Internet? Table 4 (Rates of Internet usage based on dial–up and broadband access) shows that for three out of seven decisions and situations, both groups used the Internet at the same relative rate, no more and no less. However, in four instances, those respondents with broadband access consulted the Internet more than those with dial–in access. Specifically, when dealing with a serious illness or other health condition; changing a job or starting a business; getting information about voter registration or a government policy or becoming a citizen or helping another person with an immigration matter, respondents with broadband access were shown to have used the Internet significantly more than respondents with dial–up access.

 

Table 4: Rates of Internet usage based on dial–up and broadband access.
Note: * significant in a 10 percent or better test.
ProblemDial–up accessBroadband accessP
(two–tailed)
Dealing with a serious illness or other health condition0.7020.8180.007*
Making a decision about school enrollment, financing school, or upgrading work skills0.5650.6210.103
Dealing with a tax matter0.6450.6010.333
Changing a job or starting a business0.5890.7780.030*
Getting information about Social Security or military benefits0.5170.6410.121
Getting information about voter registration or a government policy0.4330.7560.000*
Becoming a citizen or helping another person with an immigration matter0.3780.7780.006*

 

Tables 3 and 4 show that respondents with broadband access consult friends and family and use the Internet at different rates than those with dial–up access. Further that there isn’t simply trade–off with broadband access respondents using friends and family less and the Internet more for specific decisions and situations. Rather, as in the case of dealing with a serious illness or other health condition, though they consulted friends and family at the same rate as those with dial–up access, they also used the Internet more. This was also the case when changing a job or starting a business and when getting information about voter registration or a government policy. However, at times they used the Internet at the same rate but consulted friends and family more than those with dial–up access. Lastly, in the case of becoming a citizen or helping another person with an immigration matter they consulted friends and family and used the Internet more than those with dial–up access.

A final question is whether those without broadband access to the Internet either at home or at work consult friends and family in general at different rates than those with dial–up access or those with broadband access when confronted with the same decisions and situations. While respondents without broadband at home or at work consult friends and family at a general rate of 96 percent, respondents with dial–up consult friends and family at a general rate of 54 percent and respondents with broadband consult friends and family at a general rate of 46 percent. In sum, access to the Internet was significant in each instance.

Taken as a whole, these figures demonstrate how, to what extent and when the Internet is a substitute for personal community and when the Internet is a supplement for personal community. The Internet is clearly a substitute for friends and family if those with Internet access are compared to those without Internet access. However, whether the Internet substitutes for or supplements friends and family depends on the decision or situation when comparing those with broadband and dial–up access. When dealing with a serious illness or other health condition, those with broadband or dial–up access use friends and family at the same rate, but broadband users are more likely to use the Internet more than dial–up access uses, supporting the conclusion that the Internet is supplementing their personal community. However, when dial–up respondents are making a decision about school enrollment, financing school, or upgrading work skills though they use the Internet more than they consult with friends and family, they actually consult with friends and family less than those with broadband access supporting the conclusion that relative to those with broadband, their Internet use may be a substitute for their personal community.

This data shows that while those with access to the Internet via dial–up and broadband access use the Internet more, as one would expect, it also demonstrates that these two groups consult friends and family and use the Internet at different rates. This is important because while at times the Internet appears to be a substitute for personal community at other instances the Internet appears to be a supplement for personal community by either extending or enhancing respondents’ problem–solving abilities. In contrast, the difference at which those without internet access and those with Internet access (dial–in or broadband) consult friends and family indicate that the Internet may be also be substitute in respondents’ lives. This context makes it apparent that access to the Internet does not decrease or increase social interactions in general; rather there is an interaction between the decision or situation and Internet access that is critical. The next section addresses why the Internet is a substitute for or simply supplements other types of information seeking in people’s lives.

Other types of information seeking

What about other types of information seeking? That is, ones that do involve other important decision–making or even the trivial? Respondents were asked in the Personified Internet survey about other decisions and situations. In this case the sources included: the Internet, friends and family or a mixture of the Internet, friends and family. This data indicates that people are most comfortable using the Internet when looking for a new cell phone or dealing with the IRS. When making a decision regarding a large financial purchase, investing 401(k) monies or when deciding which new car to buy or bank to use however, the majority of respondents do so after using the Internet and consulting friends and family.

 

Figure 1: Consumer information
Figure 1: Consumer information.

 

Responses were more varied however when respondents were asked about their attitudes toward acquiring personal medical information, medical information for friends and guidance in the case of a spiritual crisis or death of a loved one. While the majority of respondents were comfortable getting medical information for a friend from the Internet, this was not the case for the remainder of categories. For example, respondents stated that they would turn to a combination of online and personal sources of information in dealing with their own medical problems including psychological needs. In addition, when dealing with a spiritual crisis or death of a close friend, most respondents stated that they would seek assistance from people they knew rather than the Internet.

 

Figure 2: Medical and spiritual information
Figure 2: Medical and spiritual information.

 

What is important about this data is that respondents stated a preference for engaging in problem–solving using the Internet for three out of 10 scenarios. For the five out of 10 they preferred a blended approach and for only two, dealing with a deep spiritual crisis or dealing with the death of a close friend, did respondents prefer a friends and family.

Attitudes toward Internet–based information

The Personified Internet survey documented respondents’ motives for seeking information from the Internet rather than from family and friends. For instance, some people say they prefer to seek information online because their searches provide them with information more quickly. In addition, some respondents placed a premium on the accuracy of information and that also propelled them to use the Internet as a primary source, rather than family or friends. That is, not only do people want the information now but there is the sense that in contrast to relying on friends and family, the information they can collect online is sometimes of higher quality by being unbiased, more authoritative, and substantive or simply of a different perspective. Respondents also stated that they prefer using the Internet in their information searches that involved subjects that were simply difficult to discuss with others or were best kept to themselves. Conversely, some respondents had very different attitudes replying that they have a low incidence of needs that are not easily shared or kept to themselves.

 

Figure 3: Attitudes toward Internet-based information
Figure 3: Attitudes toward Internet–based information.

 

When asked to elaborate a combination of attitudes and motivations emerged such as the need to find fast and accurate information:

“I use the Internet for informational support because it’s faster than any other resource I’ve found and the vast amount of information available makes it highly likely that at least some of it will be accurate, pertinent, and useful.”

In addition, they may not wish to discuss an ongoing issue or need with family and friends:

“As I try to make it a rule to never discuss politics with family or friends and not wanting to rely solely upon ‘Main Stream Media’ accounts, I tend to rely upon the Internet for more accurate and timely information of a political nature.”

Or, for a series of complex reasons including the need to find “community” they may prefer using the Internet:

“The advantage for me was that I knew no other born–again Christians weighing >100 pounds and who was considering weight loss surgery. Further: 1) I trust the clinical medical information sources (JAMA, Mayo Clinic, etc.) more than the opinion of friends and family… 2) …I have sought out specific opinions, from those in like situations … How did they reconcile faith vs. diet? 3) Objective information and support at a more personal level… 4) Timely access. At 10 pm, which is usually my only time for social access, there’s not many of my friends or family who are available.”

Lastly, some respondents discussed using the Internet to fact check the accuracy of what friends and family tell them.

When asked how the Internet fits into their lives, several respondents explicitly stated that the Internet was a supplement and not a substitute, for interacting with people while many others noted how the Internet could be used as supplemental source of information and/or knowledge. What this data does is provides rationales of why the Internet decreases and at other times extends and enhances information seeking activities in people’s lives.

 

++++++++++

Discussion

Much of the literature on information seeking focuses on non–randomized samples who are tasked with locating specific answers to problems (e.g., factual answers, bibliographic information, job listings, etc.) in specific environments (e.g., schools, libraries, work etc.) and using specific sources (e.g., online library catalog, Web, patient files, etc.) (e.g., Talja, et al., 2007; Choo, et al., 2000; Chatman, 1991). Information searches that solve problems makes an interesting and complimentary contribution to this literature for several reasons. First, respondents were randomly selected from a national sample, which allows us to make inferences to the population as a whole. Further, because the respondents had different influences and constraints the results are from a group of heterogonous participants (Rice, et al., 2001). Specifically, they were physically, economically, socially and politically different individuals with varying cognitive and affective needs. Second, all respondents chose from among 10 different, real–world decisions or situations. Third, because of the sampling and question, we can expect that these decisions and situations might be answered in similar ways among other English–speaking adults in the U.S. [4] Fourth, though this research focuses on a subset of sources and channels, friends and family are one the main ways that individuals “… obtain resources to deal with daily life, seize opportunities, and reduce uncertainties” in their lives [5]. This data therefore captures how, to what extent, when and why individuals chose the Internet over their community network.

As Information searches that solve problems showed access to the Internet and broadband access in particular can supplement information seeking. However, respondents with Internet access often used more than one channel or source including the Internet and friends and family. Further, as the Personified Internet showed there is the perception that the Internet can also extend and/or enhance information seeking. What this research suggests is that the Internet is an integral source of information in the lives of many with broadband and dial–up access Americans. It is not however a wholesale replacement for the important people in their networks who help them solve problems and cope with life’s troubles. End of article

 

About the authors

Amy Tracy Wells is a former Research Fellow at the Pew Internet & American Life Project. She holds a PhD in Educational Psychology and Educational Technology from Michigan State University.

Lee Rainie is the Director of the Pew Internet & American Life Project, a research center that examines the social impact of the Internet. Since its creation in early 2000, the project has issued over 50 reports about America’s use of the Internet.

 

Notes

1. This survey was only conducted in English.

2. The term “broadband” includes various forms of high access such as cable modems, DSL, wireless connection, satellite connections, etc.

3. As an insufficient number of responses for statistical analysis were gathered for three decisions and situations, the results of seven decisions and situations are reported.

4. For results based on the total sample, one can say with 95 percent confidence that the error attributable to sampling is plus or minus 2.5 percentage points. For results based Internet users (n=1,702), the margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points. For results based on low–access Internet users (n=1,579) the margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3.3 percentage points. In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting telephone surveys may introduce some error or bias into the findings of opinion polls.

5. Wellman and Frank, 2001, p. 181.

 

References

J.A. Bargh and K.Y.A. McKenna, 2004. “The Internet and social life,” Annual Review of Psychology, volume 55, pp. 573–590.http://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev.psych.55.090902.141922

K. Bessière, S. Kiesler, R. Kraut, and B. Boneva, 2008. “Effects of internet use and social resources on changes in depression,” Information, Communication & Society, volume 11, number 1, pp. 47–70.http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13691180701858851

E.A. Chatman, 1991. “Life in a small world: Applicability of gratification theory to information seeking behavior,” Journal of the American Society for Information Science, volume 42, number 6, pp. 438–449.http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/(SICI)1097-4571(199107)42:6<438::AID-ASI6>3.0.CO;2-B

C.W. Choo, B. Detlor, and D. Turnbull, 2000. “Information seeking on the Web: An integrated model of browsing and searching,” First Monday, volume 5, number 2 (February), at http://www.firstmonday.org/issues/issue5_2/choo/, accessed 2 November 2008.

L. Estabrook, E. Witt, and L. Rainie, 2007. Information searches that solve problems. Pew Internet & American Life Project, http://www.pewinternet.org/pdfs/Pew_UI_LibrariesReport.pdf, accessed 14 May 2008.

C.S. Fischer, 1992. America calling: A social history of the telephone to 1940. Berkeley: University of California Press.

P. Howard, L. Rainie, and S. Jones, 2001. “Days and nights on the Internet: The impact of a diffusing technology,” American Behavioral Scientist, volume 45, number 3, pp. 383–404.http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/00027640121957259

R.D. Putnam, 2000. Bowling alone: The collapse and revival of American community. New York: Simon & Schuster.

A. Quan–Hase and B. Wellman, 2004. “How does the Internet affect social capital?” In: M. Huysman & V. Wulf (editors). Social capital and information technology. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, pp. 113–132.

L. Rainie and A.T. Wells, 2008. “Personified Internet,” Unpublished survey conducted by the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

R.E. Rice, M. McCreadie, and S.L. Chang, 2001. Accessing and browsing information and communication. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.

J.P. Robinson, M. Kestnbaum, A. Neustadtl, and A. Alvarez, 2002. "The Internet and other uses of time,"  In: B. Wellman and C. Haythornthwaite (editors). The Internet and everyday life. New York: Blackwell, pp. 244–262.

I. Shklovski, S. Kiesler, and R. Kraut, 2006. “The Internet and social interaction: A meta–analysis and critique of studies, 1995–2003,” In: R. Kraut, M. Brynin, and S. Kiesler (editors). Computers, phones and the Internet: The social impact of information technology. New York: Oxford University Press.

S. Talja, P. Vakkari, J. Fry, and P. Wouters, 2007. “Impact of research cultures on the use of digital library resources,” Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, volume 58, issue 11, pp. 1674–1685.http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/asi.20650

B. Wellman and B. Hogan, 2004. “The immanent Internet,” In: J. McKay (editor). Netting citizens: Exploring citizenship in a digital age. Edinburgh: St. Andrew Press, pp. 54–80.

B. Wellman and K. Frank, 2001. “Network capital in a mult–level world: Getting support in personal communities,” In: Nan Lin, Karen Cook and Ronald Burt (editors). Social capital: Theory and research. Chicago: Aldine DeGruyter, pp. 233–273.

B. Wellman and S. Wortley, 1990. “Different strokes from different folks: Community ties and social support,” American Journal of Sociology, volume 96, number 3, pp. 558–588.http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/229572

B. Wellman, A. Quan–Haase, J. Witte, and K. Hampton, 2001. “Does the Internet increase, decrease, or supplement social capital? Social networks, participation, and community commitment,” American Behavioral Scientist, volume 45, number 3, pp. 437–456.http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/00027640121957286

B. Wellman, R.Y. Wong, D. Tindall and N. Nazer, 1997. “A decade of network change: Turnover, persistence and stability in personal communities,” Social Networks, volume 19, pp. 27–50.http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0378-8733(96)00289-4

T.D. Wilson, 2000. “Human information behavior,” Informing Science, volume 3, number 2, pp. 49–56.

T.D. Wilson, 1997. “Information behaviour: An interdisciplinary perspective,” Information Processing & Management, volume 33, number 4, pp. 551–572.http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0306-4573(97)00028-9

 


Editorial history

Paper received 26 June 2008; accepted 5 October 2008.


Creative Commons License
“The Internet as social ally” by Amy Tracy Wells and Lee Rainie is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://www.pewinternet.org/.

The Internet as social ally
by Amy Tracy Wells and Lee Rainie
First Monday, Volume 13, Number 11 - 3 November 2008
http://firstmonday.org/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/2198/2051





A Great Cities Initiative of the University of Illinois at Chicago University Library.

© First Monday, 1995-2017. ISSN 1396-0466.