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Pew Report on Online Content Creation

Pew Internet & American Life Project: Content Creation Online

It took me a while to figure out what "content" means in the context of a web site. Now I think of it like a glass jar of nuts and bolts- what you put into it makes up its contents. Like a glass jar, what you put into a web site makes up its content. Without content, web sites are useless.

Traditionally, there were a relatively small group of people (programmers, web masters, geeks) who could open the jar and add contents on a regular basis. What we saw online was often limited by who had the expertise to post it to the web.

This is changing very quickly- nowadays Joe and Jane internet user can add content to the web just as effectively- programming is no longer required. Weblogs are a specific example of a tool that is enabling this change.

Now that content has become so easy to add, I believe we're about to see major changes in the way we use and understand the web. The average person will become more in tune with the online world because the technical barriers are being lifted.

This report is significant to me because it sets a baseline. It allows us to get a snapshot of participation today so that we can fully understand the changes tomorrow.

Here are some stats and links:

Weblog section

In this survey, we found that a mere 2% of Internet users in this survey reported writing a weblog or online diary. Earlier surveys and a follow up check in early 2004 indicate that between 2% and 7% of Internet users publish a ‘blog. Within this tiny group, only about 10% report updating their blog daily. Most weblog writers update their blogs once a week or less often.


From Summary:

  • 21% of Internet users say they have posted photographs to Web sites.
  • 20% say they have allowed others to download music or video files from their computers.
  • 17% have posted written material on Web sites.
  • 13% maintain their own Web sites.
  • 10% have posted comments to an online newsgroup. A small fraction of them have posted files to a newsgroup such as video, audio, or photo files.
  • 8% have contributed material to Web sites run by their businesses.
  • 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.
  • 6% have posted artwork on Web sites.
  • 5% have contributed audio files to Web sites.
  • 4% have contributed material to Web sites created for their families.
  • 3% have contributed video files to Web sites.
  • 2% maintain Web diaries or Web blogs, according to respondents to this phone survey.


Graph of Daily Internet Activities

Graph of Overall Internet Activities