UK’s Yokels Into Social Networks, Online Shopping

Put city dwellers to shame

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Look for the CEOs of online retailers and social networks to start acting kindly towards the UK’s rustic types; new Hitwise data indicates that people living in rural areas tend to out-participate city folk in these two categories.

 Hitwise’s Data On Online Shopping
(Photo Credit: Hitwise)

For four weeks, Robin Goad looked at how many of the Internet users in a given geographic zone went to certain sites.  He reports, "Londoners are the least likely to visit an online retailer, while the areas that over-index most within the category are Wales and the South West."

Goad then continues, "A similar picture also emerges when it comes to social networking. . . .  London is again the most under-represented region, while Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland are all over-represented."

These statistics go against what most people might imagine; urban residents are supposed to be the ones setting tech trends.  And if anyone really wants to argue, it’s possible that the stereotype holds true outside the UK, and even in some respects within it.  Still, it looks like people living outside big cities have become extremely comfortable with social networks and shopping sites.

In the ongoing fight for users, maybe Facebook, MySpace, and Bebo should consider advertising on cows.

UK’s Yokels Into Social Networks, Online Shopping
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  • http://www.m-i-x.com Matt aiken

    As someone who lives and works in the rural south west, you’d be amazed at how connected most people are. Believe it or not the farmers were some of the first to get connected with the need to buy and sell feed and check stock costs, online, i’ve had internet access for 10 years now from dialup to wireless and finally broadband adsl.

    For a lot of us living in the South West of the UK is a luxury, sun surf and the ability to get away from stressful office life, and we’d do anything to avoid the commute to a larger city. You’d also be impressed at how passionate a local parish council can be about demanding broadband from BT (the upgrade our local exchange campaign of 2006!). We also rely on video conferencing, and remote working a lot more, as well as paying a larger premium for fiber connections. As far as adsl goes most people have it but speed wise, we suffer compared to the cities with many people only on a 512kbs connection because of their distance from the local exchange. All that connectivity means people don’t have to drive for 30 minutes to get to a supermarket, they can just arrange to get it delivered to work, or home in the evenings.

    But now our main stress is the price of petrol which is now astronomical more than (£1.18 a litre), doing some really rubbish maths – sure someone can check –  i think that makes it around $9.45 a gallon.  and of course there’s the Jackson’s who’ve bought a holiday home down the road just to add to the excitement.

  • http://weblogs.hitwise.com/robin-goad/ Robin Goad

    Matt, as both the author of the orginal article and some who grew up in the South West, I think that you are spot on re connectivity / speeds. My parents live in the rural South West and they had a long struggle with BT to get connected. I also noticed that someone alos commented on my blog about speed problems.

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