Hunch.com, a self-described ‘Internet personalization service,’ recently blogged about a survey they conducted that correlated respondents’ email domains (Gmail, Hotmail, etc.) with various characteristics and behaviors. The findings were interesting, but for me, the more powerful finding was the phrasing of their survey items.
I know from personal experience that getting an accurate understanding of individuals’ technology use via survey can be quite challenging. Hunch.com’s approach needs validation but even as a pilot study it offers some interesting ideas about how to ask people about their attitudes and behaviors vis-a-vis technology.
Hunch.com has provided a number of very well-done visualizations of their findings – see them on their blog post – but I will highlight a few of the more salient data reported by survey respondents:
- Almost three-quarters of Gmail users were under age 34, while about half of AOL users were older than age 35.
- 14% of Gmail users first began to use email after the year 2000, while 22% of Hotmail users did not begin to use email until after 2000.
- Hotmail users are more likely to be women aged 18 to 34 while Gmail users are more likely to be men aged 18 to 34.