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Content Creation Online
Source: Pew Internet &
American Life Project
44% of American
Internet users have contributed their thoughts and digital content to the
More than 53 million American adults have used the
Internet to publish their thoughts, respond to others, post pictures, share
files and otherwise contribute to the explosion of content available online.
A new survey and report from the Pew Internet & American
Life Project find that 44% of U.S. Internet users have contributed material
to the online commons.
While blogs or personal online journals have captured the
attention of the technology community, most of those who have made
contributions have done so in less cutting-edge ways. Here are some of the
things American adult Internet users have done:
21% of Internet users say they have posted photographs to
17% have posted written material on Web sites.
13% maintain their own Web sites.
8% have contributed material to Web sites run by their
7% have contributed material to Web sites run by
organizations to which they belong such as church or professional groups.
7% have Web cams running on their computers that allow
other Internet users to see live pictures of them and their surroundings.
4% have contributed material to Web sites created for
3% have contributed video files to Web sites.
The Pew Internet Project has asked in its surveys at
various times during 2003 and early 2004 about blogging. Those polls of
Internet users have shown that somewhere between 2% and 7% of American
Internet users have created blogs and about 11% of Internet users are blog
readers. These are not hugely impressive figures, but they are hardly
trivial. They mean that anywhere from 3 million to nearly 9 million
Americans have created these diaries.
“One of the earliest observations about the Internet turns
out to be true: anyone can be a publisher on the Web,” said Amanda Lenhart,
Research Specialist at the Project and the lead author of the report. “The
online commons is full of virtual chatter and teeming with self-made
content. It ranges from the simplest vanities like pictures of ‘me and my
puppy’ to the most profound kinds of political argument – and everything in
Online content creators are evenly divided between men and
women. They are especially likely to be students, to have broadband
connections at home, and to enjoy high levels of education and household
The report, entitled “Content Creation Online,” argues
that the most eager and productive content creators break into three
Power creators are the Internet users who are most
enthusiastic about content-creating activities. They are young – their
average age is 25 – and they are more likely than other kinds of creators do
things like use instant messaging, play games, and download music. And they
are the most likely group to blog.
Older creators have an average age of 58 and are
experienced Internet users. They are highly educated, enjoy sharing
pictures, and are the most likely of the creator groups to have built their
own Web sites. They are also the most likely to have used the Internet for
Content omnivores are among the heaviest overall users of
the Internet. Most are employed. Most log on frequently and spend
considerable time online doing a variety of activities. They are likely to
have broadband connections at home. The average age of this group is 40.
Though content creation is usually a small and personal
act, its impact is beginning to be felt on a larger stage.
“Beyond the pure fun of creating something to share with
others locally or globally, the Internet is living up to its promise to
empower the individual,” said Lenhart. “The world is changing in major ways
when anyone with a modem can do the same thing as the most sprawling media
company, the most powerful politician, or highest-paid entertainer.”
The Pew Internet & American Life Project is a non-profit,
non-partisan research organization that examines the social impact of the
Internet. It is funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts and does not advocate
any policy outcomes.
The Report is available at:
Peter DeLegge is the publisher of Marketing
Today. He has more than fifteen years experience in marketing and marketing
communications management and marketing consulting with Fortune 500 to
medium size corporations. He can be reached at peterdlAThotmailDOTcom.
© Copyright 2005, Peter DeLegge Consulting/Marketing
Today. All rights reserved.
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