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Re: AM: Value of user demographics?

To:     Andrew Forbes <>
Subject:     Re: AM: Value of user demographics?
From:     Ross Stapleton-Gray <>
Date:     Fri, 9 Jan 1998 11:33:40 -0500 (EST)

On Fri, 9 Jan 1998, Andrew Forbes wrote:

> >The only accurate way to capture demographic info from an 
> >individual user is to have them register (either directly on the 
> >site or through a network like firefly).
> I must respectfully disagree.  There are ways to ascertain the
> demographics behind the IP address, but as I'm yet unfunded
> I have no desire to discuss them here.

Color me skeptical as well, Andrew.  When I paw through the Web logs for
my site, I could see--at best--guessing that a very small percentage of
visitors were techies, and a percentage were from K-12 schools, and with
no idea if they were 12-year-olds, or 50-year-old teachers.  Someone from
a .gov site could be anything from a Deputy Assistant Secretary to Asok
the Intern, and then there's the Sovereign State of AOL... no guesses

Though, for the folks who follow the demographic *standards* development,
are there proposals for how services can share user profiles if the user
and/or service wants to?  AOL *does* know something of its users...
actually, quite a lot, including anything one can interpolate from a
credit card identity, and the instantaneous log-in locale.  I understand
there's at least a proposed standard for user profile data, yes?  And are
any services, like AOL, offering to provide Web sites with any form of
visitor profiling?

Ross Stapleton-Gray                     TeleDiplomacy, Inc.                    2503 Columbia Pike, Suite 118
Director, Electronic Embassy Program    Arlington VA 22204                  +1 703 685-5197 / 5257 fax

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