Identifying Motivations for the Use of Commercial Web Sites

Identifying Motivations for the Use of Commercial Web Sites

Thomas F. Stafford (Texas Women’s University, USA) and Marla Royne Stafford (University of North Texas, USA)
Copyright: © 2002 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-931777-08-7.ch004
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The uses and gratifications theoretical framework has continued to prove useful in the study of new and emerging media. In previous research on television as a medium, motivations for media use have been grouped into either process gratifications (motivations associated with using the medium, like channel surfing) or content gratifications (motivations related to information or entertainment delivered by the medium, like watching the evening news for information). This study applies the uses and gratifications perspective to better understand the factors motivating commercial Web site use, and identifies a new media use gratification unique to the Internet: socialization (using the medium to communicate with people). Through the cooperation of two major on-line companies, this research reports the results of a two-part study that begins with the identification of 179 motivations for Web use and subsequently reduces those to five primary underlying factors. These factors are discussed and related to three key indicators: frequency of Web use, frequency of computer use, and affinity with the computer. Implications for new social gratifications for Internet use are discussed, and directions for future research are proposed.

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