wasting bandwidth since 1999

Growing The Web

An article at Time’s web site asks Who’s Really Participating in Web 2.0.

The writer then goes on to present some evidence that very few web users are actually contributing to the content.

According to Hitwise, only 0.2% of visits to YouTube are users uploading a video, 0.05% visits to Google Video include uploaded videos and 0.16% of Flickr visits are people posting photos. Only the social encyclopedia Wikipedia shows a significant amount of participation, with 4.56% of visits to the site resulting in content editing.

Those numbers are interesting but I think he’s missing the bigger picture.

The participatory web include far more than just the few high profile sharing sites spotlighted in this article (and practically every other one on the topic of web 2.0).

What about the 70,000,000+ blogs in the world, both the posts themselves and the comments? Can we ignore all the material being posted hourly in MySpace, Friendster, and other social networking sites?

Digg, Delicious, Twitter, discussion boards of all kinds.

Now I doubt that all of these contributions reflect more than ten percent of web users. (I’m certainly not going to estimate quality :-) But that’s still much larger than the 1% claimed by this writer.

A more important way to assess the read/write web, however, is to look at the explosive growth in participation over the past five years, or even the last two.

Sure the numbers of people building the web is small. But it’s getting less small every day.

web 2.0, read-write web, participation

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3 Comments

  1. It was just too ironic to come across this post and notice that there were no comments yet. I love reading this and many other blogs on a hourly/daily basis. I’m just not a big talkerwriter. I definately PARTCIPATE in web 2.0, and it definately shapes a large percentage of what I do (and how it do it) on a daily basis…I just don’t CONTRIBUTE by writing.

    keep up the good work!

  2. It was just too ironic to come across this post and notice that there were no comments yet. I love reading this and many other blogs on a hourly/daily basis. I’m just not a big talker/writer. I definately PARTCIPATE in web 2.0, and it definately shapes a large percentage of what I do (and how it do it) on a daily basis…I just don’t CONTRIBUTE by writing.

    keep up the good work!

  3. Dave

    Seems like a non-issue… Is this not just the way math works? If 50% of site hits were to upload new content, and the other 50% were to view content, then all content would average 1 view, right? Depending on how you count visits and views and such, maybe a handful of views?

    These numbers should be posted along with the percentage of visitors to cnn.com and nytimes.com who contribute base content (not comments). At least that would serve the purpose of explaining Web 2.0 a little.

    As it is, they aren’t really lies or dang lies, they’re just statistics, and ones that are pretty useless by themselves.

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