Mark Dolliver: Modern Hobbyists

The word “hobbyist” has an antique ring to it, evoking images of folks making useless objects in their garages. Like so much else, however, hobbies have entered the Internet age. Polling for the Pew Internet & American Life Project finds 83 percent of wired adults saying they have gone online to seek information about their hobbies, and 29 percent saying they do so on a typical day. It’s among the most popular Internet activities, says the report, “on par with shopping, surfing the Web for fun, and getting news.” Some cohorts are more apt than others to use the Internet in this way, including men, people under age 50 and those with home broadband.