What information do the Japanese gather from the internet?

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The internet, the information super-highway, is supposed to be this great conduit of information by which everyone can gather information on whatever they please. To find out how the Japanese are plugging into these vast resources, japan.internet.com reported on a survey conducted by JR Tokai Express Research Inc into using the internet to garner information.

Demographics

On the 27th of November 2007 331 members of the JR Tokai Express Research monitor group employed in the public or private sector completed a private online questionnaire. 78.2% of the sample was male, 9.7% in their twenties, 37.5% in their thirties, 36.0% in their forties, 12.1% in their fifties, and 4.8% in their sixties.

It is not clear from the survey whether just computer-based internet access was counted, or if mobile phone usage was included.

Quite frankly, this survey seems fatally flawed as Q1 does not include Wikipedia (which is itself fatally flawed) as I must admit that for simple factual data I do reference it, and given that is seems to often appear in four in five of Japanese surfers’ search results, to not include it would be an oversight.

If you too want to gather information on train times, NihonHacks recently had an article on how to do it.

Research results

Q1: When gathering information via the internet, what sorts of sites do you use? (Sample size=331, multiple answer)

 VotesPercentage
News sites (including Yahoo! and other portals)28485.8%
Search site (Google, etc)26379.5%
Bulletin board7923.9%
SNS4914.8%
Blog4313.0%
Movie sharing site298.8%
Other61.8%

Q2: What sorts of information do you gather via the internet? (Sample size=331, multiple answer)

 VotesPercentage
Railway line routes, timetable search29890.0%
Travel21665.3%
Eating out20261.0%
Dictionary, translation18154.7%
Politics, economy16449.5%
Sports14644.1%
Arts, entertainment13340.2%
Technology11334.1%
Overseas information8024.2%
Other195.7%

Q3: What bulletin board sites do you often use? (Sample size=331, multiple answer)

 VotesPercentage
2 channel10732.3%
Yahoo! Bulletin Board8325.1%
Guru-Navi Bulletin Board278.2%
goo Bulletin Board144.2%
livedoor Bulletin Board Shitaraba61.8%
Infoseek Bulletin Board51.5%
FC2 Bulletin Board41.2%
Other113.3%
Don’t use bulletin boards14744.4%

For other genres from Q1, the top SNS was of course mixi, with 28.4% of the whole sample accessing it; for movie sharing YouTube was tops with 46.8% and Nico-Nico Douga second with 10.9%. Note that in Q1 only 8.8% used video sharing sites for information gathering.

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