The figures for active participation in Web 2.0 sites seem to keep on getting lower (Hitwise
via Guardian - sorry no web link so paraphrased below)
The 1% rule (1% make content, 10% add, 89% just view) overstates it. Of US internet visits to YouTube, only 0.16% were to upload videos; 0.2% of Flickr visits were to upload photos.
So most visits to Web 2.0 sites are to view and not to share. This comes as no big surprise - our research into blogging has always suggested that most people are just not really interested at the moment in taking the time and effort to create and share online content. However, the tiny percentages here might shock, even given previous reports of low participation…
Look closely at these figures though and it’s clear that they actually tell us something different to the 1% rule
– another example
These figures are in terms of visits
. In the reporting the two have been conflated so that 1% appears to have been a massive over-estimation.
In fact, these figures don’t give us any idea what proportion of say YouTube users are actually uploading videos. They just tell us what proportion of visits to the site are to upload content. These visits could be spread across 0.5% or 10% of users, that we don't know.
What they do tell us is that, proportionally speaking, consuming content is still massively more popular than creating it across all users, even though what we’re consuming and where we’re consuming it may be changing. Despite the current buzz around CGM and customer collaboration, brands should keep in mind that these remain niche activities. Until consumers start to change their behaviour en masse any online conversations will be with an exceptional audience, not the mass-market who are likely to make up their customer-base. Who might be listening in is another question...