A recent study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that 44% of American Internet users post content online and between 2% and 7% keep weblogs. CNN considers the number of bloggers is small but I get the exact opposite impression.
First, 44% of users contributing content to the Internet is huge. People in message boards may not realize it, but they are making the Internet the global knowledge store that it is. Can you think of any other medium where nearly half of the content consumers are also content creators? Imagine if half the people who go to the movies were also film makers, or if half of the people who listened to music also composed it. That’s what the Internet is, and I think this is astounding news.
As for the weblogging numbers, I would have guessed that 0.001% of people online keep weblogs. Either people online are savvier than I expected or there aren’t as many people online from the general population. Either way, I think that these are impressive numbers and will only go up.
In celebration, go out and speak your mind online. Post content. Become the media.


7 responses to “How Two Way is the Internet?”

  1. I understand where you are coming from – I think it’s cool that the internet allows everyone to contribute. My only problem with that is many, many people choose to contribute garbage. Web logs are a great idea, but some things in a persons life should be kept private. I visit this site because you have interesting things to talk about – content that doesn’t include why you are angry at your parents, or why the cute boy who sits in front of you won’t talk to you.

  2. Here’s the thing though, those people who write stuff that you don’t care about? They don’t care about you either. It’s nothing against you, you’re just not their audience. They’re writing for their friends and family, those bloggers are doing them a favor by making it easy for people to keep up with them.
    The thing about weblogs, or anything for that matter, is that in order to get the good you have to sort through the bad. See Sturgeon’s Law, or even the title of this weblog.
    BTW, I do have a LiveJournal where I post all my insipid thoughts, but I like to keep this site less personal.

  3. Well, you have a good point. And to further your argument – I don’t have to read or view anything I don’t want to – so who cares?
    I guess I should have also mentioned the public forums that see their share of personal, off-topic information, spam/advertising, or plain old trolling. (Usenet is a good example). There are many places that one should be able to go for information without the hassle of these things, yet they are constantly there, reminding us that anyone can provide content, no matter if it is of any value.
    Then again, those jerkoffs are always going to be around, and I shouldn’t fault the entire concept of user submitted content just because of those who abuse it. That doesn’t mean it isn’t annoying, though.

  4. Blogs == Ghosts
    Me == Pacman On Pills
    C G G G G
    That C is me…the Gs are a bunch of cah-cass blogs. I am about to kill them with my frenzied jaw. This entire subculture is just BEGGING to be a footnote. Anything involving the 15 minutes of fame rule is.

  5. I can’t argue with your ASCII art, it makes an airtight assertion. However I think that the 15 minutes of fame rule can only exist in a popular medium, which is sort of implicit in the “fame” part.
    I think that weblogging in its current form will change substantially in the next 10 years, but the important part that I don’t think will change is the way it makes it easy for people to publish online. If you strip out all the permalinks, trackbacks, blogrolls, and other cultural artifacts one thing remains: millions of people sharing opinions and information in a global conversation.
    While that conversation may shift forms, I hope it will never stop.

  6. For every 9 of those entries there’s one of these entries: Deadly days:

    I had the misfortune of spending the last two days stepping around pieces of dead bodies after two suicide bombers detonated themselves outside a police station and army recruiting facility in Iskandariyah and then in Baghdad.

    My argument can be summed up in the title of this weblog.

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