Date: Tue, 12 Aug 1997 21:34:24 -0400 (EDT)
From: Bob Rankin 

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           TODAY'S TOURBUS TOPIC: Survey Results

Howdy all!  I had planned to do a review of several e-mail programs
for today's issue, but since the initial Tourbus Rider Survey results
are in, I'm going to delay that e-mail roundup for a week.

Thanks for your participation - we've had a whopping 6117 responses
in just a week's time, and results are still coming in.  If you
didn't already respond to the survey it's not too late!  Just take
five minutes to fill it out and send it in.  If you lost your copy,
visit the Tourbus Archives at and grab a
survey form there.

 (Some people had trouble filling out the survey, because they
 forgot to use the Reply or Forward option first.  If you're trying
 to do the survey and you can't type in the little boxes, try that.)

Our thanks to Beach Tech who processed the survey.  Beach Tech
provides EMAIL and WWW form based survey services, so if you ever need
an online survey, visit them on the Web at
The results to date in glorious tabular form are available on the Web
at for your viewing pleasure, but if
you prefer an "executive summary" with a twist, read on.

1)  In what country do you receive TOURBUS?

    USA: 66%  Canada: 6%  Great Britain: 5%  Australia: 3%  Germany: 2%
    The other 18% either didn't know where they lived or fell into the
    one percent or less categories.

    While we're on an international theme, allow me to introduce a new
    TOURBUS sponsor.  If you're planning a vacation, stop here first:

*------------------[ DISCOUNT AIRFARES & CRUISES ]------------------*
     No gimmicks, no club. Just REAL SAVINGS of 15-70% everyday
   below the LOWEST RATES available to the public - and FREE TRIPS!
*-----------------  ----------------*

2)  How long have you been using the Internet?

    Even more so than a year ago, TOURBUS riders are a seasoned bunch.
    The results showed that 62% of TOURBUS riders have been surfing for
    two years or more.  Just 14% qualify as newbies (less than a year
    online) and 25% have about a year's worth of cyber-mileage racked
    up on their modems.

3)  When it comes to computers, I ...

    Only 4% classified themselves at a "total novice", while 67% said
    they felt "pretty proficient most of the time".  In the "gotta have
    it" category, 17% confessed to getting "nervous and jerky after 15
    minutes away from their computer", and the Geek Factor came out to
    11% (those who program complex systems in their sleep).

    And surprisingly, only 1% admitted to the hobby of "hacking into
    government computers for sport".  If this is representative of the
    Internet population on the whole, then there are ONLY about a half
    million hackers online.  Feel better now?  :-)

4) What type of Internet connection do you have? (Modem Speed)

    Technology marches on - just 2% reported having a 2400 or 9600 bps
    modem, and only 12% surf at 14.4k.  About 50% of you report using
    a 28.8 or 33.6k model, and another 34% are surfing at high speed
    while the boss is not looking.

5) What type of Internet connection do you have? (Service Provider)

    Point & Click Rules.  A whopping 92% use graphical browsers like
    Netscrape and Internet Exploder - up from 80% a year ago. Just 3%
    use a text-only Net interface and 5% have only e-mail access.

    I often hear from blind Internet users who offer their pleas for
    text-friendly websites.  Webmasters, be nice - offer a text version
    of your site, or at least check it with Lynx to be sure it makes
    sense without the pretty pictures, so blind visitors can access
    your goodies with screen-reader programs.

6)  Describe your primary Internet usage.

    E-mail is still in the top spot!  39% say e-mail is their primary
    online activity, and just 23% described Web surfing as their
    cyberspace raison d'etre.  Maybe that's because people have
    discovered that "Surfing the Net" is more like waiting in line
    at the Post Office most of the time.

    Wanna do some cool things with your e-mail?  Check this out..

*----------------[  E-MAIL IS THE TRUE KILLER APP  ]----------------*
      ...and WEB INK knocks 'em dead!  Try this awesome e-mail
   software with built in web browser, spell check, spam filters,
  mail merge and more.  WEB INK is award-winning and easy to use.
       Click on the link below to download a free trial copy.
 (Mention TOURBUS to get $5 off Shipping & Handling when you order)
*-------------------  -------------------*

7)  Are you male or female?

    The answer here was a resounding "YES", which is comforting.  But
    3% of respondents were not sure.  Worldwide, it looks like we have
    66% Biff and 34% Buffy.

    The female tally gained 2% from last year's numbers, which by my
    calculations means that women will completely overrun cyberspace
    by the year 2030.

8)  What is your age?

    According to the survey results, you are all 45.38 years old.
    Even more interesting, you've all aged TWO YEARS since last year,
    when the average age was 43.33.

    Sounds like a great time to introduce one of today's sponsors.
    ThirdAge is a quality site with lots of good stuff for the more
    mature in our audience...

*----------------[ FREE Site For People Over 50 ]-------------------*
         Announcing -- The Web...for GrownUps.
    Chat * Discussion forums * FREE Resources * Feature Articles
   Experts * Daily News * Web Reviews * Discounts * Polls * More!
*----- Join FREE today:   ----*

9)  Level of education?

    We're lugging quite a bit of sheepskin on the Bus.  45% have a
    college education, and 44% claim advanced degrees.  Must be
    you're all furthering your education with online courses...

10) Your Occupation

    A very diverse crew!  Educators top the charts at 16%, followed
    closely by Geeks (software developers) at 13%.  Engineers take up
    7% of the seats on the Bus, while Librarians and Managers account
    for 6% each.  Some 3% couldn't figure out what they do, which
    perhaps means the Manager total should be somewhat higher.

    I got rightfully chastised by several Homemakers (both Moms and
    Dads) for not including that category on the survey.  Sorry!
    Among the write-ins, I also found an Arborist, Missionaries,
    Homeschooling Moms, a Karate Instructor, Psychotherapists,
    many Clergy, one Hunter/Gatherer, and a Funeral Director.

11) Household Income

    Average household income is about $48,300, up from $44,600 in
    last year's survey.  Some people wrote with objections to this
    question, but remember that the survey only collects data on the
    group - not on individuals.  All survey responses are completely
    confidential and anonymous.

12) Have you ever visited the web site of a TOURBUS sponsor?
13) Have you ever made a purchase from an online merchant?

    72% say "YES" - they've checked out the wares offered by the
    sponsors who keep TOURBUS rolling.  (It's especially nice to
    hear from readers who thank us for connecting them with a
    TOURBUS sponsor.)  And 50% of you have taken the plunge into
    online purchasing.

    Just remember, it's safe to use your credit card online - as
    long as you order from a secure site.  Netscape users, look for
    the unbroken key at the bottom of the screen to verify you're
    ordering securely.  For Internet Explorer, make sure the little
    padlock is in the locked position.

    When you order from a secure site, your credit card info is
    encrypted before it ever leaves your computer, keeping it safe
    from prying eyes.  This is actually more secure than handing your
    card to a waiter or a mail order clerk, because online ordering
    often eliminates the human element from the transaction.

This survey is particularly interesting to me.  Because we have TOURBUS
riders from 120 countries, I believe the large response is in many
ways representative of the Internet population as a whole.  Feel free
to share this data with anyone who might be interested.

See you next time!   -- Bob

  P.S. - I'm having an August Special on my "No B.S. Guide To Linux"
  book.  If you order before the end of this month, you'll save $5 on
  your purchase.  Order 5 or more copies and save $10 on each!  Visit
  my home page at  for details.

=====================[ Tourbus Rider Information ]===================
   The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2238
      Copyright 1995-97, Rankin & Crispen - All rights reserved
            Archives on the Web at


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