ESZTER HARGITTAI'S RESEARCH
Myth or Reality?
2007. In Media Diversity and Localism: Meanings and Metrics
edited by Philip Napoli. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. pp. 349-362.
With literally billions of Web pages constituting the publicly
Web, it is reasonable to assume that diverse types of material are easily
available to users. Nonetheless, it remains an empirical question to see
whether people actually access the vast diversity of resources
theoretically available to them online. In this chapter, I draw on data
about people's actual online behavior to assess whether users visit
diverse types of content on the Web or whether their online
information-uses mirror off-line behaviors. Findings suggest that
although people turn to a variety of sources for information online, their
actions seem to resemble off-line media consumption patterns. I explore
why these behaviors are not necessarily a reflection of user preferences,
rather they are at least in part a function of how content is organized
and presented online, and skill differences among users.
I. The Importance of Studying "Exposure Diversity"
II. Studying People's Online Information-Seeking Behavior
Availability of Cultural Event Information Online
Cultural Event Information Online
This is a pre-print version of the chapter to appear in "Media
Diversity and Localism: Meaning and Metrics" edited by Philip Napoli.
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