Just why do Aussies, Brits and Italians network so much online?

According to a Neilsen report, as quoted in A World of Connections, a special report in The Economist on social networking, in October 2009 the countries in which users spent the most hours using social media were Australia, the UK and Italy. For each of this top three, the average user spent over six hours in the month.

Why these three? I haven’t got a clue, but if I were to base my views on outrageous stereotypes then I’d say that:

  • Australia is first because, if you live in a desert, thousands of miles from anywhere, then you need all the help you can get in keeping in touch with your mates.
  • The UK is second because there are too many timid introverts for whom any human contact is better than none.
  • And Italy is third because there are too many mad extroverts for whom there’s no such thing as too much communication.

But of course I wouldn’t dream of resorting to such dangerous generalisations, so what are the real reasons? I’d love to know your views.

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