New Network World Supplement Fills Home Technology Information Gap

SOUTHBOROUGH, MA – December 3, 2004 – Network World, Inc. launched the first edition of Network Life – The Expert's Guide to the Connected Home – a new publication aimed at helping home technology influentials, who are Network IT Executives by day, respond to the barrage of requests for hands-on help and product purchase recommendations from their less technical family, friends and neighbors.

According to research from IDC and Parks Associates, consumers rely on recommendations from a knowledgeable friend or co-worker when making home network purchase decisions. For typical consumer products like toasters, consumers gather information from a variety of sources such as friends, advertisements, consumer unions and in-store examination, and then evaluate the product on their own and make a purchasing decision. The typical purchase decision process for consumer products breaks down as a product becomes more sophisticated – often the case for technology products intended for the home. For technology products, the information search from traditional sources often produces complex and confusing results.

Network World research found that home technology influentials typically devote more than four hours of their personal time per month advising and guiding less technical people about which products to buy and how to integrate them with the networks and digital devices common in homes today. "Because of their professions, influentials are also expected to be up-to-date on home network and entertainment products," says Toni Kistner, editor, Network Life. "But where do these influentials go for this information?" Network Life – the expert's guide to the connected home – fills this information gap.

While word-of-mouth ranks as the highest form of marketing influence in purchase decisions of any type, the difference with home technology purchases is the weight of reliance on word-of-mouth and the expertise of the source. According to the book "The Influentials" (Keller, E. and Berry, J., Free Press, 2003), influentials create a 'spiral of influence' and are the ones from whom the broader market of consumers will take their cues. "Throwing more information directly at the relatively non-technical consumer, whether through advertising or articles, is likely to have little impact," says Keith Shaw, technology editor, Network Life. "The influential is the one who seeks more information and is the person we are targeting with Network Life."

The premier issue of Network Life organizes, into one resource, information that is of great interest to the home technology influential. The cover story "How to Be the Go-to Guy without Going Crazy" details how three of these influentials manage expectations from family and friends who rely on a personal expert in order to buy and install technology. Articles such as "Pipe Dreams" help readers pick the right high-speed access for their friends and family, guiding them through a growing list of plans, options and features to ensure support of the newest applications. "Five for '05" highlights five technologies that are mature and stable enough to recommend. Ongoing columns include:

— Tech Spy. Network Life editor, Toni Kistner, cuts through the "digital home" hype, guiding readers on which technologies to adopt, avoid, recommend, and discourage, as well as what's worth waiting for, or even paying a bit more for.

— Security Chief. Network security expert Deb Radcliff reveals why home users are getting clobbered and what can be done about it.

— Connection Coach. Network World Lab Alliance member James Gaskin is the go-to guy's go-to guy — providing behind-the-scenes support for home technology influentials. Jim delves into questions sent to him via e-mail and answers some particularly challenging home network questions.

— Off the Clock. Technology Editor Keith Shaw muses on home entertainment, online gaming and other non-work-related networking pursuits.

Additional content is provided by the Network Life web site that contains buyer's guides that link to e-commerce sites, virtual tours, of high-end connected homes, a tech primer column and more. Visit

About Network World

Network World, Inc., the Leader in Network Knowledge, empowers Network IT Executives through education, information and community. Network World, an IDG company, is the leading provider of news, analysis, reviews, events and education on information technology. Network World publishes the leading newsweekly, Network World, hosts the most active online community, Network World Fusion (, and produces educational seminars and events worldwide. Network World's portfolio of strategic marketing programs provides marketing and agency professionals with the tools to generate high-quality leads, optimize marketing campaigns, and create new revenue opportunities.

About IDG

International Data Group (IDG) is the world's leading technology media, research, and event company. A privately-held company, IDG publishes more than 300 magazines and newspapers including Bio-IT World, CIO, CSO, Computerworld, GamePro, InfoWorld, Network World, and PC World. The company features the largest network of technology-specific Web sites with more than 400 around the world. IDG is also a leading producer of more than 170 computer-related events worldwide including LinuxWorld Conference & Expo(R), MacworldConference & Expo(R), DEMO(R), and IDC Directions. IDC provides global market research and advice through offices in 50 countries. Company information is available at

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