Editor’s note: Jeff W. Totten is assistant professor of business administration at Bemidji State University, Bemidji, Minn.

In May, on the 20th anniversary of its eruption, I was treated to a bird’s-eye view of Washington’s Mt. St. Helens as we approached Portland International Airport. I was going to my first American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) conference, held at the Doubletree Jantzen Beach in Jantzen Beach, Ore. In addition to presenting some research I had done, I was also to serve as a roving correspondent for Quirk’s.

All in all, there were nine sessions devoted to Internet research activities over three days (May 19-21), in addition to sessions on research methodology and other research issues. I attended six of the sessions in their entirety. I’ll briefly summarize the papers presented at these sessions in the space below.

Diana Pollich and Jo Holz of Roper Starch Worldwide reported on Roper’s second cyberstudy of online and Internet usage in the first Friday session. The study was based on a telephone sample of 1,009 people who had accessed the Internet in July 1999. The online population grew from 45 million in 1998 to 63 million in 1999. The researchers found that Internet users are becoming more representative of the U.S. population as more people with less education and/or lower incomes are going online. Also, greater numbers of women and older people are going online. There is also a tenure effect being observed, in that the longer people are online, the more likely they are to engage in activities online (e.g., buying online, gathering information online).

K. Viswanath from Ohio State University discussed research on the adoption and diffusion of new technologies using data collected from monthly Buckeye State Polls (telephone surveys) over the last three years. Social class and geographic factors were found to have an effect on the adoption and diff...