43% of my time is spent ranting at research

43% of my time is spent ranting at research: Doc Searls points to a story on netimperative.com regarding a study that shows Europeans now spend more time online than they do reading magazines, according to the latest research commissioned by European Interactive Advertising Association (EIAA). (But then, wouldn’t one expect a study from them to show that?)


The study, which was carried out by research agency Millward Brown, shows that the internet represents 10% of European’s media consumption, overtaking magazines at 8%, and just behind newspapers at 13%. Television continues to capture the largest share of people’s media time at 41%, with radio in second place at 28%. However, 43% of people who use the internet say that are spending less time watching TV.

Because the employees of Hammock Publishing have been subjected to enough ranting (via e-mail) today regarding another set of statistics that were equally ridiculous, I’ll skip my standard warning against allowing reporters to have access to research.

However, I must agree with Doc Searls clarification that the Internet is not a medium. (It’s at least an extra large.) He uses the metaphors of “place” or “environment” to describe it. I think of it more in Mcluhanesque fashion as an extenion of ones central nervous system (bottom paragraph). Whatever it is, an association that exists to promote advertising on the Internet is doing disservice to its mission by cooking up bogus comparisons. Why bogus? How much of the time spent on the Internet is engaged in “consuming” advertising sponsored bytes vs. off-line advertising sponsored atoms? What about time spent shopping online or IMing or engaged in collaborative activities or research? Was that time included in the research?

My passion for magazines is evident for all who visit this weblog, yet I spend hours more each week “on” the Internet than engaged in reading magazines. So what? I also spend more time on the Internet than I do eating, but I manage to eat more than enough (okay, way more than enough). I spend more time on the Internet than I do reading books, but there are 35 books listed on my “read recently, 2003” list. I spend more time on the Internet than I do watching TV, but I, wait, I don’t watch hardly any TV. I spend more time on the Internet than I do with my family, but I just spent the last three hours joyfully supporting my 13-year-olds musical passions.

So what does a comparison mean of how much time one spends using the Internet to how much time one spends reading a magazine? Nothing.