Content Diversity Online: 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 available 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
III. The Availability of Cultural Event Information Online
IV. Accessing Cultural Event Information Online
V. Conclusion

Please note
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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