As the sampling of entrepreneurs below attests, not everyone cruising the World Wide Web is out joyriding. An increasing number of people enter cyberspace for business purposes. A recent Internet demographics study conducted by CommerceNet (a consortium of more than 130 companies committed to electronic commerce) and Nielsen Media Research (yes, the TV folks) estimates that roughly half of the 18 million people 16 and older in the United States and Canada who have used the Web have done so for business purposes. Interestingly, electronic commerce -- the buying or selling of goods and services on-line -- ranks last in business activities.

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Business Purposes on the Web
Gathering information 77%

Collaborating with others 54%

Providing vendor support and communications 50%

Researching competitors 46%

Communicating internally 44%

Providing customer service and support 38%

Publishing information 33%

Purchasing products or services 23%

Selling products or services 13%

Source: "1996 Internet Demographics Survey," by CommerceNet Consortium/Nielsen Media Research, 1996.

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