The Pink Palm?

Many of you may have seen the latest survey from ComScore Networks Inc., which says that nearly ten million people in the U.S. have used a wireless device to get online. However, one bullet-point in the report really caught Unstrung's eye.

"Gay sites [are] most likely to attract wireless Internet users," says the report. Huh? Is ComScore saying that a large percentage of the folks that use wireless devices do so to look at gay and lesbian sites?

"A lot of people have misread that," says ComScore spokesperson Stephen Kim. And no wonder, since this is how ComScore worded it:

Among ComScore Media Metrix’ 29 categories and 71 subcategories of online media, gay/lesbian sites have the highest concentration of Internet users that access the Internet with a cell phone or PDA (30 percent).

In fact, ComScore based the survey on a questionnaire it sent out to a panel of 60,000 people it regularly monitors on their desktop Internet use. ComScore asked its panel if they had also accessed the Internet using a wireless device.

"30 percent of the people [on the panel] who visited gay and lesbian sites said they had also used a wireless device to access the Internet," says Kim.

Okay, now we're getting somewhere. So 30 percent of the people on ComScore's desktop Internet usage panel who visit gay or lesbian sites have also tried out WAP services and the like -- although not necessarily to access gay or lesbian sites.

In fact, when you get right down to it, the results of the survey may be telling you less than you think it is about the state of the "wireless Web," since the survey did not measure the number of times people had used a wireless device to access the Internet. So they might have tried it once and found they didn't particularly like it. [Ed. note: the technical term is WAPlash.]

Kim says that ComScore is working on ways of measuring the frequency of usage and what people actually look at on the "wireless Internet." — Dan Jones, Senior Editor, Unstrung

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