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Online Activities & Pursuits

Content Creation Online: 44% of U.S. Internet users have contributed their thoughts and their files to the online world

2/29/2004 | MemoReport  |

In a national phone survey between March 12 and May 20, 2003, the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that more than 53 million American adults or 44% of adult Internet users 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. 21% of Internet users say they have posted photographs to Web sites. 13% of Internet users maintain their own Web sites. Around 7% have Web cams running on their computers that allow other Internet users to see live pictures of them and their surroundings.

A mere 2% of Adult Internet users maintain Web diaries or Web blogs, according to respondents to this phone survey. In other phone surveys prior to this one, and one more recently fielded in early 2004, we have heard that between 2% and 7% of adult Internet users have created diaries or blogs. In this survey we found that 11% of Internet users have read the blogs or diaries of other Internet users. About a third of these blog visitors have posted material to the blog. Most of those who do contribute material are not constantly updating or freshening content. Rather, they occasionally add to the material they have posted, created, or shared.

Content creators break into three distinct groups: Power Creators, Older creators and Content Omnivores.

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 be blogging.

Older creators have an average age of 58 and are experienced Internet users. They are highly educated, like 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 genealogical research.

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.

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