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Phone Polling Failed to Detect Chinese Passing US Internet Usage

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Forbes magazine is reporting China Surpasses U.S. In Internet Use.

The article reports that between 150 and 200 million people use the internet, compared to 154 US users, in January.

But the reason I'm posting this diary is because of the question the Forbes writer asks, about why this development was not seen sooner, and her answer.
How could the milestone of China surpassing the U.S. in Internet users have gone so unremarked? It turns out that it isn't that easy collecting data on over a billion people in a country as vast as China, where most people are not connected by phone lines.

The China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) reports that the number of active Chinese Internet users was 111 million by Dec. 31, 2005, up from 94 million a year earlier. And over the past two years, it has been growing at a steady rate of 18%. However, according to Zhang, the CNNIC polling is conducted by calling fixed line phones. "Young people do not use fixed line phones. They all have mobile phones," Zhang said, explaining why he believes the CNNIC is reporting lower-than-accurate numbers.


There's been a lot of discussion, and often negative characterization of internet based polling. This article hilights how a huge, huge trend failed to be picked up by the polling technique currently considered the gold standard. That may soon change. Pollsters like Zogby have been developing email initiated internet polling to a fine art. With the under 25 generation almost exclusively using cell phones, not even owning land-lines, any polling will fail to reflect their presence. Even older folks are using phones differently now.

At one point, phone polling was challenged as not good enough-- that only face-to-face polling was good enough. We know where that went.
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By the way, the hottest site in China appears to be sohu.com, which the article reports is above amazon.com and aol.com in popularity.
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Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project. 

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Over 200 podcasts are archived for downloading here, or can be accessed from iTunes. Rob is also (more...)
 

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