Passive Users On Participatory Sites

Bill Tancer, general manager of global research at Hitwise, published a piece on particiaption levels on Web 2.0 sites in Time earlier this week.

The latest data on Internet participation reveals that only a very small percentage of Internet activity is related to users creating and publishing content. The 80/20 rule, also known as the Pareto Principle, states that 80% of all consequences stem from 20% of the causes. If true, the rule would then suggest that 80% of this new form of content is created by 20% of the users. The rule, subject of countless business books, has no application when it comes to consumer-generated content. Far less than 1% of visits to most sites that thrive on user-created materials are attributable as participatory, the remaining 99% are passive visits.
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.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.