An Ordinary Guy's Internet Experiences

I interviewed Thomas Vest, upstanding middle class white boy from Phoenix Arizona, about his use of the Internet. He graciously agreed to tell all about his day's on-line experience.

Thomas cruises the net on a PC running 128MB of RAM connecting via a slow ass phone line. "Keep in mind I have a 30GB Hard Drive, baby!" Tom adds.He logged on before going to work, waiting for AOL to connect. He proceeded to check his email, trashing spam all the way home, composed return mail, and forwarded a joke or two to friends. Afterwards he went to his six usual sites:,,,, and

Besides email functions he accomplished three things on-line today, he learned a new word, caught up on his hometown's news and got a few laughs. Chuckles. What more can any Internet citizen ask, even of its own government? He spent a total of twenty-five minutes on-line today.


I was curious about his internet attention span and navigation approaches. So I asked, because I had to ask, damn it. So Mr., how long do you wait for a site you regularly visit to load? Twenty-five seconds is as long as he is willing to wait on a preferred site that provides endless jollies. If he is surfing and clicks on a link to a site he's never visited and thinks he really needs the information posted there he is willing to wait as long as it takes.(We all lie on market research surveys!)

Sometimes during delays he will browse another site and retry a slow URL later. Tom discovers new sites by reading articles in Yahoo Magazine, hears about them from friends, and finds sites that interest him by following links from his favorite sites. Surprisingly, he says he never really conducts searches on the Web.

When I asked him what makes a good Web site, he said he likes sites that are straightforward, without too much clutter or too many options. He is irritated by pages that are overrun with advertisements and said he wishes more sites, like would provide consumers the option of decreasing advertisements' size.

I asked Tom what functions he predicted would become more important on-line. He believes that banking will become a leader in e-commerce, on-line voting will catch on, that the Pornography industry will continue to grow, and that movie making will flourish.

I also wondered if he thought that Internet news reporting would begin to affect the way traditional media report news in their respective mediums. Tom is convinced that there will have to be some ground breaking News event that happens exclusively on the Internet before television networks will even recognize the Internet as a legitimate medium and competitor. He thinks then networks will begin to rethink the way they deliver news.

Tom's final thoughts on the Internet are, "Currently the Internet is a big advertising machine with email functions." This from a man who loves jokes.


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