Title: Logging home use of the internet in the Blacksburg Electronic Village

Authors: John M. Carroll, Jason S. Snook, Philip L. Isenhour

Addresses: College of Information Sciences and Technology and Center for Human-Computer Interaction, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA. ' CapTech Ventures, Inc., 1419 West Main Street, Richmond, VA 23220, USA. ' Center for Human-Computer Interaction, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA 24061-0106, USA

Abstract: Many user studies of the internet employ survey methods and focus on societal-level impacts. A richer and more valid understanding of the internet includes other types of data (e.g., individual interviews, direct-observation ethnographies, session logging) and finer-level impacts (e.g., impacts on family life, on proximate communities, or on geographical regions). We describe a logging study of 43 households in Blacksburg, Virginia and surrounding Montgomery County. This proximate community is the home of the Blacksburg Electronic Village (BEV), a mature, World Wide Web-based community network. We discuss methodological challenges of logging studies and summarise novel approaches of analysis and interpretation. We conclude with summaries of overall patterns of activity, specifically focusing on locally-oriented internet activity.

Keywords: internet usage; home use; session logging; community networks; web based communities; virtual communities; online communities; local usage; internet activity.

DOI: 10.1504/IJAMC.2009.027016

International Journal of Advanced Media and Communication, 2009 Vol.3 No.3, pp.333 - 348

Published online: 13 Jul 2009 *

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