Data: Survey Says


In July, the Markle Foundation, a New York-based outfit with too much money and time on its hands, released an Internet survey that is sure to end all Internet surveys. During a year of polling, focus groups, and in-depth interviews, Markle asked Americans their opinions about the Internet, American society, and McDonald's. It turns out that the majority of Americans like the Internet because "it makes life easier." They think of the Internet not as a "shopping mall," as many cyber-critics have whined, but as a "library"—if not a giant adult bookstore.

The study garnered a flurry of news reports that focused
on such important topics as the public's zest for more online rules and for taxes on e-commerce. Some of the study's more interesting findings—to what extent Americans feel "warm," i.e., favorably, and "cool" toward institutions such as the FBI, the United States Postal Service, and America Online—went unreported. Find the rest of the study online at www.markle.org.