Electronic Design

Industrial Professionals Spending More Time Online

Work-related Internet usage by engineering, technical, and industrial professionals is growing rapidly, according to the sixth annual GlobalSpec Engineering Trends Survey. Thirty-one percent of respondents said they spend more than eight hours a week online for work-related purposes in 2007, compared with only 23 percent in 2006. The survey, conducted by GlobalSpec Inc., queried engineers, technical buyers, scientific professionals, and other members of the industrial community. Among those using the Internet, 90 percent have employed it to find components and suppliers and 85 percent go online to obtain product specifications. Also, 64 percent of respondents use two or more search engines for work-related purposes, with the top three being Google, GlobalSpec, and Yahoo! Seventy percent visit more than five work-related Web sites each week. These visits often result in actions, according to the survey: 85 percent said they have contacted a supplier after visiting a Web site and 49 percent have ordered samples. Also, 81 percent have visited an advertiser’s Web site after seeing its online ad and 59 percent have e-mailed the advertiser. However, few respondent indicated that they spend time on blogs, discussion groups/online forums, networking sites, podcasts/audiocasts, and Wikis. The one exception is webcasts and webinars, which have been used by 23 percent of repondents for work-related purposes.

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