Title

What’s it for? Expectations of Internet value and usefulness in Central Asia

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Information Technologies and International Development

Volume

8

Issue

3

Publication Date

1-1-2012

First Page

69

Last Page

84

Abstract

Research on Internet usage in developing regions typically focuses on user demographics or challenges to usage. However, few studies explore the needs and desires of users in developing regions—that is, what users want from the Internet—and even fewer connect those needs with the skills required to meet them. This article addresses that gap by exploring Central Asian Internet users’ expectations of Internet utility and relating those expectations to usage patterns. We found that the users whose expectations were met were those who engaged in a diverse range of online activities. We also investigated the relationship between usage characteristics and diversity of online activities and concluded that frequent and occasional Internet users were equally likely to seek information online, but frequent users engaged in more diverse activities related to interaction with others, entertainment, and financial transactions.

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