Elon University

2009 IGF Egypt Survey: Five questions about the future of the Internet

IGF Egypt 2009 Logo

Elon IGF Interviewer 2009

Imagining the Internet conducted a video survey of IGF-Egypt participants, recording formal interviews with 43 people who were willing to take credit for their responses to five questions. The convenience sample was gathered at random from among the 1,800 or so people attending the 2009 event. The following links lead to pages with dozens of video clips that offer up a selection of representative answers to each question.

> Should IGF be continued, yes or no? Why?

> What is your greatest hope for the future of the Internet?

> What is your greatest fear, primary concern, regarding the future of the Internet?

> Twenty years from now, when people talk about the Internet “back at the turn of the century in the early 2000’s,” and they say “the people back then didn’t see this coming” what will they be referring to – what do you think might surprise most people? 

> Describe the future of the Internet in one word.

Methodology for video survey: IGF participants were invited to stop by at the Imagining the Internet location in the IGF Village, where interviews were conducted in an open, public setting during the four days of IGF in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, November 15-18, 2009. Interview recording was shut down for six hours on the final day of IGF due to a camera ban imposed by the Egyptian government because Suzanne Mubarak, first lady of Egypt, was on the premises. Some additional interviews were conducted with people randomly selected as they emerged from IGF workshops. Questions were asked in English. All respondents were given a release form to sign that had the survey questions on it, and they had the option of also submitting written answers. All respondents were asked the questions in the same way, with a brief objective elaboration added on the rare occasion when interview subjects asked for reinforcement. (English is not the native language of many respondents.) Video clips contain respondents’ full answers; if some people seem to have been given a longer time to share their views, it is because they took more time to answer the questions. Respondents were allowed to speak as long as they wished in answering each question, but because the forum was heavily scheduled with many important events and people were fitting the interviews into tight schedules it is highly likely that many were rushed and did not have the time to give longer, deeper answers. Thus most responses recorded were likely to be participants’ quick, top-of-mind reactions.

Interviews were conducted by Andie Diemer, Shelley Russell, Drew Smith and Eugene Daniel, researchers from Elon University’s School of Communications, under the supervision of Janna Anderson, associate professor and director of the Imagining the Internet Center at Elon.