Nielsen, NetRatings Launch Corporate Internet Usage Survey

CommerceNet, Nielsen Media Research and NetRatings Inc. said they are working
jointly to measure how people in U.S. corporations actually use the Internet
in the workplace.

Industry group CommerceNet and Nielsen Media Research will design the
research methodologies, and data will be collected by Nielsen//NetRatings, the new
Internet measurement service from Nielsen Media Research and NetRatings.

CommerceNet is a not-for-profit association of more than 500 companies and
organizations founded to promote the commercial use of the Internet. Member
companies come from a range of industries, including finance, consumer
products, telecommunications and technology. CommerceNet already has notified
member companies of the initiative and discussions with executives are under
way.

“CommerceNet members are leaders in the development of the Internet, and are
aware of the importance of reliable estimates of `at-work’ Internet use to the
development of the Internet as a communications and electronic commerce
vehicle,” said Loel McPhee, director of research at CommerceNet. “Our plan is
to have CommerceNet companies play an active role in generating the quality
research necessary to understand how the Internet is being used in companies
and organizations today.”

The research will begin by recruiting CommerceNet member companies, rather
than individuals, onto the panel. Once a company agrees to participate,
Nielsen//NetRatings will select a representative group of Internet users among
employees. Individual information will be aggregated and reported with
industry and demographic data, while preserving each company’s and employee’s
anonymity.

The new service is designed to develop data from a cross-section of companies
and organizations, and to overcome various obstacles that have inhibited
measurement thus far. For example, a recent Nielsen//NetRatings survey of
prospective at-work panel members found those most likely to agree to be on a
panel were self employed or worked in small companies. More than 90 percent of those
interviewed said that their companies had policies or guidelines that
prohibited or inhibited participation.

“Developing a representative, at-work Internet panel has been hampered by
considerations such as system security, the confidentiality of corporate
information and other factors,” said McPhee. “As a result, a ‘chicken-and-egg’
cycle has developed–companies want at-work use data, but are reluctant to
allow measurement to take place.”

“We believe we can develop and use a research plan that protects the security of company data and the privacy of participants while
generating valuable information that will further energize the growth of the
Internet,” said Dave Harkness, senior vice president, business development at Nielsen Media
Research. “The Internet is used by millions of people each day in corporations. . .yet there is no measurement of workplace usage being done today that’s based
on accepted methods of high-quality research.”

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