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War-Clouds Cause Global Shift in Internet Traffic

War on terror leads to global shift in Internet traffic

[New Zealand] – Increased talk of war with Iraq has lead to a significant shift in online traffic away from “big ticket” consumer items – including auto, travel, computer and property sites – while traffic to political sites is up 50% over the same period, according to Hitwise, New Zealand’s leading Internet competitive intelligence company.

According to Tessa Court, SVP of Hitwise, “As war-talk intensifies, online consumer confidence is down, and people are questioning whether now is the right time to spend on big dollar items. The result of this uncertainty is a recent fall in traffic to categories including automotive, travel, computers and property – a trend which has be mirrored in the US, UK, Australia and Singapore.”

While global tension is having a negative impact in some online categories, it is having the opposite effect in others, with New Zealanders using the Internet as a means of protest against war with Iraq.

“Traffic to political sites has jumped in recent weeks as people look to share their concerns about war and search for like minded opinion online. An increased sense of community has led to increased patronage to international peace sites including http://www.antiwar.com, http://www.unitedforpeace.com and http://www.petitiononline.com,” Ms Court said. “These websites provide an outlet for ordinary citizens to express their views and support the groundswell of public opinion in private,” Ms Court said.

With Hitwise statistics showing only 26% of traffic to political sites is directed at local services, New Zealanders are taking their anti-war argument to the world, spending an average of 5 minutes and 34 seconds online to convey their views.

After visiting http://www.antiwar.com, the majority of New Zealanders wanted to find out more about the likelihood of war with Iraq - clicking through to international news sites including BBC News, New York Times online and FT.com.

About Hitwise

Hitwise is the leading online competitive intelligence service giving strategists, agencies and financial analysts real-time insights on the online competitive environment. Hitwise uses ISP user activity logs, behavioral monitoring networks and proprietary Internet trawling technologies to monitor the surfing habits of local Internet users, covering home, work and educational usage. Monitoring the largest sample of Internet users of its kind in the world, Hitwise provides daily insights all companies need to make timely and effective business decisions.

Hitwise is headquartered in Melbourne, Australia and offers its service in

Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Hong Kong, Singapore and the USA.

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