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Thursday, June 01, 2006

50 Million Americans Create Web Content

On my daily patrol of the internet I came across an interesting study performed by the Pew Internet & American Life Project. They claim that forty-eight million American adults have contributed some form of user-generated content on the Internet. This group of web surfers accounts for 35 percent of Internet users in America.

Even more interesting is the finding that those people with broadband access in their homes are significantly more likely to create and post content on the Web. Approximately 73 percent (31 million) of the 50 million Americans who create Web content have broadband access. This is part of a trend occurring on the Web where content is shifting to predominantly user-generated content. The popularity of blogs and personal websites has accelerated the growth of user-generated content. The old internet was a place where big services provided content to internet users, the key is that content was more often than not repackaged for the internet from another media (print, etc.). Today, people are engaging the Internet in a number of different ways in their lives. One such was is through personal blogs and user-driven services where new content is being developed solely for the internet.

Earlier studies on broadband conducted by Pew described the individual content creators on the Net as the "broadband elite" but this new research shows that the broadband user group has expanded and diversified. One would assume that the majority of content would be coming from younger more tech savvy individuals, but the study reports that the split is fairly even across age groups. While younger people may generate content, older people are sharing photos and videos, all important to the growth of the internet.

Demographic information on content creators shows that forty-six percent of respondents who live in households with incomes of less than $50,000 put content on the Internet. This is in comparison to forty-one percent of respondents who live in households with incomes over $50,000. In comparing age, 51 percent under the age of 30 have posted content on the web as compared with 36 percent over 30.

It is important to notice that Pew group conducted this survey using a subset of the population that they believe represents the population. Just like political polls, there is some fudge work and false conclusions that people draw.

What is your role in this study, where do you fit in? Do you agree with what they have found? Personally, I am under 30, have a broadband connection, and am a prolific content creator on Internet.

You can access the Home Broadband Adoption 2006 report here, directly on the internet. I first found out about this study from ClickZNews in an article written by Enid Burns.

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