on the Internet
The Internet is growing rapidly in Latin America. Initially, the high costs of equipment and access inhibited the adoption. Today, the costs of the personal computer equipment, the ISP charges and the telecommunications charges have all been coming down quickly. At the same time, both the public and the private sectors have recognized the importance of the Internet. Therefore, there are observable efforts to bring the Internet into schools, businesses, government offices, homes and other places.
Free Internet access centers in Buenos Aires, Argentina
(photo credit: Roland Soong)
The Internet is in fact the name of a collection of services. Apart from the World Wide Web, there are also other services such as chat, newsgroups, list servers, e-mail, file transfers and so on. Nevertheless, the World Wide Web is the most recognizable service to consumers. In order to lure people to sign on to the World Wide Web, there has to be attractive and compelling content.
It would have been impossible to build up all the contents for the World Wide Web from scratch in a few years. Rather, much of what appears now on the Internet has been re-purposed from elsewhere. Most visible are the websites from the traditional media, namely, television, radio, newspapers and magazines. Not all traditional media can be transplanted onto the web; there may be degradation as well as enhancement of the contents in the process. Still, traditional media companies are attracted to the world wide web for a variety of reasons, and the barriers to entry are fairly low.
This web site, Zona Latina, contains the most extensive listing of Latin American traditional media websites that we are aware of. So this is a good place to discuss the state of traditional media websites now. We point out that this information is dated circa October 1999. Given the state of growth of Latin American internet, things may be radically different within months. As of this date, the number of Latin American media websites listed on Zona Latina is distributed as follows:
* Spanish- or Portuguese language and/or latino content only
The number of websites per media type does not translate directly into visitor traffic. There may be more magazine-based websites than anything else, but there is no guarantee that they have more visitors. In the next table, we show the number of page views for these media types on Zona Latina during the month of September, 1999 (for details).
Web Page Subject
|Number of page views||% of page views|
These numbers do not bear a monotonic relationship to the number of web sites per media. So while we have more magazine web sites than any other media, they collect the fewest number of page views. We will make a few points here:
(posted by Roland Soong on 10/9/99)
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