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Nearly Half of U.S. 'Net Users Post Content

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the which-half-are-you dept.

The Internet 264

An anonymous reader copies and pastes: "WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Nearly half of U.S. Internet users have built Web pages, posted photos, written comments or otherwise added to the enormous variety of material available online, according to a report released on Sunday. The Pew Internet and American Life Project found that about 44 percent of the country's Internet users have created content for others to enjoy online." Don't read the blurb - cut straight to the study.

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H0T PRETEEN LOL1TA 1S 0N TEH SP0KE (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8427331)

So there's these 2 muffins in an oven.

They're both sitting, just chilling and getting baked.

And one of them yells "God Damn, it's hot in here!"

And the other muffin replies "Holy Crap, a talking muffin!"

so thats where... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8427336)

...half the trash comes from.

FAG (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8427344)

Re:FAG (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8427368)

Woo! I'm flaming the flamebate!
Woo!
Flame!
Woo!

Seems low. (5, Interesting)

eurleif (613257) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427338)

That includes everyone who's responded to a blog entry, posted on a message board, etc.? It seems rather low. What would really be interesting is how many people have their own web page(s).

Re:Seems low. (5, Funny)

woohoodonuts (734070) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427376)

or set up "Web cams" to allow others to see live pictures.

and judging from my email... at least half of that 44% is 18 year old HOT & HORNY Amsterdam teens!!!!

ps... wanna see my webcam? I'm waiting for you.... just go to--.....

Re:Seems low. (2, Redundant)

filtur (724994) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427508)

Well, technically the 18 year old Hot and Horny teens from amsterdam wouldn't count against that average of 44% :)

Re:Seems low. (4, Informative)

Florian Weimer (88405) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427490)

What would really be interesting is how many people have their own web page(s).

13 percent, according to the survey. This number still looks rather high, though.

1/2 post, less than 1% quality (5, Interesting)

Safety Cap (253500) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427339)

So millions and millions of people post content, but how much is useful, easy to read, and informative? Probably less than one percent.

Re:1/2 post, less than 1% quality (4, Interesting)

radicalskeptic (644346) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427362)

Well, if you take slashdot as a cross section of the internet, it's actually much higher. I usually browse at score: 4 & 5, which means nearly all the posts I read are worth reading. The ratio of posts in an average story that reach 4 or 5 is usually at least 10%, sometimes over 20%. Of course, this is assuming Slashdot is a descent cross section of the internet, which I'm not sure is true, although it does have, what, nearly 800,000 users now?

Slashdot is a bad example. (4, Insightful)

irokitt (663593) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427384)

Since most of Slashdot's readers are qualified nerds, we find ~10%-20% of the posts to be good, interesting reading. Everyone else out there would rather watch paint dry.

Re:1/2 post, less than 1% quality (4, Insightful)

inaeldi (623679) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427456)

Try taking Livejournal as the cross section though. That's when the useful content plummets to almost nil.

Re:1/2 post, less than 1% quality (5, Funny)

Belzu (735378) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427510)

It becomes the functional equivalent of tossing the English Alphabet at a million monkeys. Shakespeare will NOT emerge from it.

Re:1/2 post, less than 1% quality (1)

B3ryllium (571199) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427600)

I happen to have seen some fairly elegant and well-written creative LiveJournal posts. Once or twice. :)

Re:1/2 post, less than 1% quality (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8427535)

Of course, this is assuming Slashdot is a descent cross section of the internet, which I'm not sure is true, although it does have, what, nearly 800,000 users now?

I'm not sure that the 800k user ids given out has much to do with the number of active users.

Although the editors have done a lot to try and remove the game aspects of Slashdot it is still a game to plenty of people. At least some trolls have extra accounts to mod themselves up and modbomb their enemies. People friend whore, foe whore, and reply whore - and shill accounts are useful for all those activities.

Re:1/2 post, less than 1% quality (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8427592)

If you read a thread with a +4 threshold, then you will all the recent posts that have not had a chance to receive an eventual +4 or +5 rating. I wish there was a way to request only the subset of posts that have been rated interesting or informative by at least one moderator. That wouldn't solve the case of omitting worthwhile posts that haven't been moderated yet, but it would reduce the effect of excluding underrated posts.

Re:1/2 post, less than 1% quality (4, Insightful)

flacco (324089) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427414)

So millions and millions of people post content, but how much is useful, easy to read, and informative? Probably less than one percent.

All those attributes are largely in the eye of the beholder.

I think it's too often stated that the net "democratizes". The true beauty of the net is that it pluralizes. even if there are only a few hundred agitors scattered across an oppressed country - or for that matter, only a couple dozen globally-dispersed teenagers who obsess over geri ryan's ass - they can communicate, discuss, and get community critique of their otherwise lonely and isolated ideas.

So to answer your question - a LOT of it is "useful, easy to read, and informative" - to its target audience.

Re:1/2 post, less than 1% quality (2, Insightful)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427445)

i could say the same about any type of content, eg books...

Re:1/2 post, less than 1% quality (-1, Offtopic)

beakerMeep (716990) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427446)

first reply



(yes it's a joke)

The real question... (3, Insightful)

MaineCoon (12585) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427340)

The real question is, how much of the content is even worth existing?

Re:The real question... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8427395)

I could apply the same flip remark to books, music, film and of course TV. And then there's the magazines....

Re:The real question... (4, Insightful)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427404)

"The real question is, how much of the content is even worth existing? "

Since when do we need to place a value on individual expression?

Re:The real question... (1)

cmacmanus (713176) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427475)

Mainecoon's reply to this thread is a good example; people like us, nano, are able to see this misunderstood way of thought and perhaps shed some enlightenment..

Re:The real question... (3, Insightful)

ashot (599110) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427485)

Since it has become possible for individual expression to be recorded and dispensed to millions of people. A value system is necessary to find the crem de la crem; argue all you want for moral and value relativism, there's just too much out there no to try to do so. (You do it everyday with Google)

Re:The real question... (4, Funny)

maxpublic (450413) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427452)

The real question is, how much of the content is even worth existing?

Not the comment above, that's for certain.

Max

I don't believe it. (5, Funny)

Odinson (4523) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427342)

Who would post online? Not me!

Re:I don't believe it. (4, Funny)

PacoTaco (577292) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427427)

Why did you post that? There's nothing worse than a useless comment.

Re:I don't believe it. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8427491)

Why did you post that? There's nothing worse than a useless comment.

I agree completely!

They sky is blue.

Alas (2, Funny)

tokaok (623635) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427343)

With this post i can die happily knowing i have made a contribution to society.

mwah haha (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8427345)

FOURTH POST!!!!

Heartwarming (4, Insightful)

Max Romantschuk (132276) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427348)

If you ask me, the more people creating content the better. The web is a collaborate medium [w3.org] after all.

Granted, there's a lot of worthess content out there, but I'd take a truly democratic system over an overly controlled one any day.

Re:Heartwarming (3, Interesting)

gid13 (620803) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427380)

As much as I love the idea of a "democratic" web, I have to disagree with more people creating content being a good thing. I've been arguing against copyright for a long time, and one of the reasons I do so is that it creates far too much of an incentive to create. It seems to me that we have a huge glut of material both on and offline. Having worked in a university bookstore for 4 years, I've personally seen how useless much of that content truly is.

Of course, it may be true that the more people creating FREE content, the better. Maybe. In any case, the main point I'm making is that as long as copyright law prevails over the net, I'd call it overly controlled.

Re:Heartwarming (3, Interesting)

mpe (36238) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427574)

As much as I love the idea of a "democratic" web, I have to disagree with more people creating content being a good thing. I've been arguing against copyright for a long time, and one of the reasons I do so is that it creates far too much of an incentive to create.

It's worth asking if copyright actually does provide such an incentive. It being kind of hard to see how something which outlives its creator by nearly a century can motivate anyone :)

Re:Heartwarming (0, Troll)

kfg (145172) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427411)

Yeah, we really need more collaboration on the making of bonsai babies [efn.org] .

KFG

I wonder... (5, Funny)

natrius (642724) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427351)

Do posts made by AC trolls count?

Help! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8427518)

We're being oppressed!

I wonder...Referential datum. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8427519)

"Do posts made by AC trolls count?"

No!

Re:I wonder... (4, Funny)

tankdilla (652987) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427540)

The AC is an anomaly. The AC is both everyone and no one in particular at the same time. While making senseless, inflammatory comments at one moment, at any other given moment, insight or informative comments can be found. However the same could be said about any one person. So while representing the hiding place of the general mass, it also represents what any one of us could be at any given moment.

my post (-1, Offtopic)

sometwo (53041) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427352)

By posting this, I am adding content to the web and contributing to the figure in this study.

Re:my post (Troll???) (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8427498)

Troll?
Come on! There's nothing trollish about sometwo's comment - a little humour maybe, could be insightful depending on the previous comments...
Might not be modded up, but definitely not worthy of some weird mod...

Somebody meta-mod!

Re:my post (4, Funny)

fredmosby (545378) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427531)

By posting this, I am adding content to the web and contributing to the figure in this study.

Not unless this is your first post.

i stayed up late to post this in the name of jihad (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8427356)

Ever notice the "beat the rush and see it early" link at the top of slashdot when a new story is about to come out?

Sounds good, doesn't it? To be able to view the pages linked to in the article before the tens of thousands of other slashbots click to view them.

Did it ever occur to you that you're taking part in cyber-terrorism?

That's right: Slashdot's editors are cyber-terrorists. They coordinate a DOS against small websites, and they attempt to collect moeny from people who wish to be spared the effects of said DOS. Terrorism, plain and simple.

You can fight this and other crimes by slashdot's editors by joining anti-slash [anti-slash.org] . Anti-slash is committed to forcing the editors to own up to their numerous crimes against the geek community. Until our demands are met, we will relentlessly discredit them as a news service through trolling and other means.

Also, props to poopbot and the alan thicke troll. We remember your accomplishments.

In sacred jihad,

jihadi_31337

| _ __ | |
_) |_|_)__/_| |
(_) o

Created then abandonded (5, Interesting)

foidulus (743482) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427357)

It's amazing though how many people create these wonderful(or not so wonderful as your opinion may be) websites, then just abandon them. There was an article in the NYT a while ago(now it costs money) about how many bloggers haven't updated in a few months(the number was almost 50% IIRC) and how about 20% or so never got updated past the first post!
At least we have better search engines than we had a few years ago, I'm sure your all well aware of the frustration you encountered when searching for something meaningful and getting, "Jim's cool page of pics" etc.

3 Cheers for google!
Hip, hip, hooray!

Re:Created then abandonded (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8427406)

Yup.. IMHO one of the best was Moyra's Web Jewels [moyra.com] ... which years after it's abandonment still has thousands [google.com] of links from her awards, fans, etc.

Re:Created then abandonded (4, Funny)

kfg (145172) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427459)

One of our favorite youths, Jack, a splendid young fellow with a head
full of good sense, and a pair of legs that were a wonder to look upon in
the way of length and straightness and slimness, used to report progress
every morning in the most glowing and spirited way, and say:

"Oh, I'm coming along bully!" (he was a little given to slang in his
happier moods.) "I wrote ten pages in my journal last night--and you
know I wrote nine the night before and twelve the night before that.
Why, it's only fun!"

"What do you find to put in it, Jack?"

"Oh, everything. Latitude and longitude, noon every day; and how many
miles we made last twenty-four hours; and all the domino games I beat and
horse billiards; and whales and sharks and porpoises; and the text of the
sermon Sundays (because that'll tell at home, you know); and the ships we
saluted and what nation they were; and which way the wind was, and
whether there was a heavy sea, and what sail we carried, though we don't
ever carry any, principally, going against a head wind always--wonder
what is the reason of that?--and how many lies Moult has told--Oh, every
thing! I've got everything down. My father told me to keep that
journal. Father wouldn't take a thousand dollars for it when I get it
done."

"No, Jack; it will be worth more than a thousand dollars--when you get it
done."

"Do you?--no, but do you think it will, though?

"Yes, it will be worth at least as much as a thousand dollars--when you
get it done. May be more."

"Well, I about half think so, myself. It ain't no slouch of a journal."

But it shortly became a most lamentable "slouch of a journal." One night
in Paris, after a hard day's toil in sightseeing, I said:

"Now I'll go and stroll around the cafes awhile, Jack, and give you a
chance to write up your journal, old fellow."

His countenance lost its fire. He said:

"Well, no, you needn't mind. I think I won't run that journal anymore.
It is awful tedious. Do you know--I reckon I'm as much as four thousand
pages behind hand. I haven't got any France in it at all. First I
thought I'd leave France out and start fresh. But that wouldn't do,
would it? The governor would say, 'Hello, here--didn't see anything in
France? That cat wouldn't fight, you know. First I thought I'd copy
France out of the guide-book, like old Badger in the for'rard cabin,
who's writing a book, but there's more than three hundred pages of it.
Oh, I don't think a journal's any use--do you? They're only a bother,
ain't they?"

"Yes, a journal that is incomplete isn't of much use, but a journal
properly kept is worth a thousand dollars--when you've got it done."

"A thousand!--well, I should think so. I wouldn't finish it for a
million."

His experience was only the experience of the majority of that
industrious night school in the cabin. If you wish to inflict a
heartless and malignant punishment upon a young person, pledge him to
keep a journal a year.

The Innocents Abroad -- Mark Twain

KFG

That's OK. (4, Insightful)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427558)

If that's meant to be a journal, it should end with your life's end. But if it's a "content webpage" like "Database of all cars created in 19th century", once it's completed and published, and after some period of bugfixes, it may be perfectly well left on the web for years, unchanged - and it will still remain a valuable resource - once completed it never needs changes.

Re:Created then abandonded (1)

seanadams.com (463190) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427577)

It's amazing though how many people create these wonderful(or not so wonderful as your opinion may be) websites, then just abandon them.

I think that's a hell of a lot better than the majority of web pages, which move, or even worse, disappear within a couple months of their debut. Personally, I maintain a web site [seanadams.com] and while I spend almost no time on it lately, I'm happy to pay the hosting bills in the hope that the information might be useful to someone.

I just think it's sad when somebody/somecorp puts in the effort to make a site and then pulls the plug. It's not really expensive to keep it available, so why take it down?

So 56% of the net is composed of lurkers? (3, Interesting)

Senjutsu (614542) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427359)


That's actually quite a bit higher than I would have guessed.

How about companies? (4, Interesting)

bc90021 (43730) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427360)

Just as interesting a study, I think, would be corporations that have posted or have websites vs. those that don't. We may take it for granted, but there are still a number of business (especially small businesses) that likely don't have a web presence.

How about companies?-Unecessary. (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8427529)

"We may take it for granted, but there are still a number of business (especially small businesses) that likely don't have a web presence."

Nor do they need one. It's a common misconception. A "keeping up with the jones".

Pruning for the public good? (4, Interesting)

QuantumSpritz (703080) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427363)

Makes me wonder - if all this content is in blog/comment format, what are we losing as we auto-prune our forums, our comments, out old stories? How to we save the nuggets and toss out the crap? Like BUMP posts - those should be confined to the seventh circle of hell. Dante, anyone?

Re:Pruning for the public good? (0, Offtopic)

kfg (145172) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427494)

Me too!!!!!!!

KFG

Re:Pruning for the public good? (3, Interesting)

adpowers (153922) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427588)

That is why you never delete or prune anything. I was involved in a local online community as one of the sys admins. I set the message board to have no pruning and I would never delete threads (just lock them at worst). Unfortunately, there were other admins as well. They decided to prune stuff and delete posts. This is one of the largest reasons for leaving the community, I feel stuff should never be removed from the internet. Thank Jah we have archive.org.

Enjoy? (4, Funny)

bishiraver (707931) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427364)

about 44 percent of the country's Internet users have created content for others to enjoy online.
Somehow I doubt that a majority of people would enjoy the 'content' that a majority of these folks have created. A more fitting sentence would be, "... have created content for others to reaffirm the sad state of humanity with." But then again.. I'm jaded, and I'm submitting content.. go figure. :p

Never!! (0)

pankajsethi (212117) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427371)

I have never posted online and nor do I intend to do. Did I tell you I was running low on Karma???

in a related study (5, Funny)

Peeet (730301) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427375)

there's about 800,000 users whose sole purpose seems to be to take that content down, one site at a time...

And sometimes we even turn on eachother.

in a related study-Take a byte out of... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8427541)

"And sometimes we even turn on each other."

Does that make us content cannibals.

Personal Home Pages (4, Insightful)

joonasl (527630) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427385)

I've wondered for a long time, if there is anything less useful in the world than all the eleventythousand personal homepages that everyone on the net seems to be doing. Millions of pages, where people want to share their hobbies and names of their family members..

Thus far I have found one (1) use for these pages: finding the email address for someone. Unfortunately, lately because of the spam pandemic, even that function is dissapearing since people don't want to out their email addresses to public internet.

Personally I think that when I have become interesting enough to have a personal homepage, someone else will do it for me :)

Re:Personal Home Pages (0, Offtopic)

Monkelectric (546685) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427431)

eleventythousand -- Boards of Canada fan? :)

Re:Personal Home Pages (3, Insightful)

kfg (145172) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427483)

Personally I think that when I have become interesting enough to have a personal homepage, someone else will do it for me :)

It has been suggested that there ought to be a law forbidding poets from giving public readings of their own works.

The principle is basically the same.

KFG

Re:Personal Home Pages (4, Insightful)

G-funk (22712) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427549)

That's just tops for you, mate. But I like randomly clicking links sometimes (like /. sigs), and often I come across something interesting or worth reading... Just you think it's boring, doesn't mean I will, or Joe from down the street. And usually, if somebody posts something online, it's because they know somebody who would be interested in reading it...

Telephone sampling (5, Insightful)

venicebeach (702856) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427387)

The study notes that the response rate was 32.8%, meaning that the vast majority of people who were called refused to participate in the survey. This is a potential source of bias in the sample. I can certainly see those who are more eager about their internet use being more likely to participate in the study to brag about their contributions to the internet. The numbers do seem kind of high to me.

Summaries (5, Informative)

GoodbyeBlueSky1 (176887) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427389)

I figure after the site gets hammered, and before someone posts a mirror for the PDF, or just as a preview, or if you don't wanna read the whole thing, or if you're a robot whose job it is to read /., here's the "Summary" section of the report (I apologize for the K-whoring):

-----
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 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. Some 44% of the
nation's adult Internet users (those 18 and over) have done at least one of the following:

21% of Internet users say they have posted photographs to Web sites.

20% say they have allowed others to download music or video files from their
computers.

17% have posted written material on Web sites.

13% maintain their own Web sites.

10% have posted comments to an online newsgroup. A small fraction of them have
posted files to a newsgroup such as video, audio, or photo files.

8% have contributed material to Web sites run by their businesses.

7% have contributed material to Web sites run by organizations to which they belong
such as church or professional groups.

7% have Web cams running on their computers that allow other Internet users to see
live pictures of them and their surroundings.

6% have posted artwork on Web sites.

5% have contributed audio files to Web sites.

4% have contributed material to Web sites created for their families.

3% have contributed video files to Web sites.

44% of Internet users have created content for the online world through
building or posting to Web sites, creating blogs, and sharing files
Content Creation Online

2% 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. For instance, more than two thirds of those who have their own Web sites add
new content only every few weeks or less often than that. There is a similar story related
to the small proportion of Americans who have blogs.

The most eager and productive content creators break into three distinct groups:

Power creators are the Internet users who are most enthusiastic about contentcreating
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.
----

Study Shows Half are Couch Potatoes (3, Interesting)

billstewart (78916) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427393)

While I'm sure the TV/Disney/Newsmonger conglomerates would like to think that "content" is something that they provide for us and we consume like good little couch potatoes, the really cool thing about the Internet is that anybody in the world can talk to anybody else, express themselves to the public, and provide valuable or entertaining information to the world. So the sad result of the study is that half the users don't seem to get it yet... How can we drag them in?

Of course, that doesn't invalidate Donaldson's Commentary ("Sturgeon was an optimist"), and there's lots of content that's not very interesting, but at least we need to get kids in the habit of providing things that are interesting to their friends and thinking of what they can do for society as a whole.

Re:Study Shows Half are Couch Potatoes (2, Interesting)

91degrees (207121) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427469)

I suspect that the other half of the users tend not to use the web that much. They'll occasionally use it if an email tells them to click on a link, and they might look at an online news site, but they don't spend hours a day browsing.

While the web can be useful, from a marketing point of view, it has always really been just an initial incentive. People thought they wanted the web, but they kept their internet connection because they want email, IM, and Kazaa.

In other news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8427394)

Internet speed affected by crazed Livejournal users not content at updating their AOLuser friends on their sad, sad lives at a mere angsty paragraph a minute!

GI/GO (1)

drgonzo59 (747139) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427407)

So the "garbage in - garbage out" saying is right after all.

Re:GI/GO (2, Funny)

Jim_Hawkins (649847) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427440)

Don't you mean "Garbage In, Junk Out"? Oh...wait...that's GI JO...

Nevermind. :: slinks away ::

Survey Says... (5, Funny)

Ray Radlein (711289) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427408)

According to the study, 44% of all internet users have contributed something of value to the content of the internet.

The other 56% argue about vi vs emacs.

Nearly half of users? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8427409)

That number seems to be highly exaggerated. I, for one, don't ever post any... Oh, crap!

This is why we need net censorship!! (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8427422)

Look at this site as an example, I'm sure for every Logged in poster there is a troll or lurker out there.
And the "Anonymous Coward" feature needs to stop!!
All users of this internet should be branded, tagged and monitored, lord knows what kind of garbage and filth they post online!! Mr. Goatse.xs has done irreperable harm to thousands of under 18 slashdot readers who are now terrified of working in the fine agriculteral industry and would rather now be shipped off to India to program shell scripts from the back of a yak. In fact it's these flamebait and troll posts that I feel directly responsible for the dot-bomb. How can any business survive when it's users drive away good-upstanding god-fearing republicans such as myself. Lord knows Mr. Bush has been very kind and forgiving to not cage every one of you up in that Guatanimo Bay place, freedom of speech my ass, cyber-terrorism is what it is!!

For some it's more than just casual interest. (3, Insightful)

Jin Wicked (317953) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427423)

At least for me, it's been almost a way of life since about 1997, and how I've been eeking out something of a living for the last half year or so (and less of a living before losing my job and car and having to work on the net fulltime).

Where, not how much! (5, Interesting)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427424)

All this is great and wonderful, but hides a serious problem. There are several problems facing the internet these days, IMHO. You can see the signs in the quality of link-quantified based search engines like google.

Problem #1: when people contribute, they do so on corporate sites. Epinions. Livejournal. Even Photo.net is a perfect example of the clustering that happens, as is mp3.com...and mp3.com is an even better example of the problems with this. a)someone else suddenly gets rights to your stuff, and b)when they disappear, so does a huge chunk(relatively) of the net. c)While all this web-application crap is lovely and cute, we've discovered that it costs money and you can't do it just off banner ads- so a large number of these companies fail pretty fast if they don't find some way to charge for it, and people don't like paying anyone but their ISP, really(and that won't change with micropayments, IMHO). Nobody realized that the only people who could afford to host pictures etc- were the ISPs themselves, because they're actually getting paid for your access. Shock, gasp- the old model was better than the new one.

Problem #2: overreliance on search engines. The web really isn't anymore- its more like a branched tree in many ways, because people don't rely on links from, say, their ISP's homepage. They fire up google instead. The internet is supposed to recover from major chunks disappearing, but what happens if google goes off the air tomorrow? I bet you'd see an immediate drop in traffic(well, aside from a hundred million people IM'ing/emailing each other saying "hey, did you know google is down?"). People would be lost. I remember in '96 I used my ISP's homepage as a jumping point; now that's virtually unheard of. People use portals, not their ISP's homepage- the predecessor to portals. Again, gasp, shock- the old system was better.

Problem #3: Companies that host these sites really don't like spiders; they suck up bandwidth and often cause dynamic apps to crumble under the load- I've seen it happen, and I've killed/blocked spiders myself because they would have run up enormous bandwidth bills(I help run a mailing list with about 11 years of archives). Either that, or the spider might not be able to index the dynamic content. Add this to point #1+2, and oops- a large chunk of content contributed by that 44% just dropped off the radar of the rest of the world...because remember how dependent we are on search engines like google?

Problem #4: people just don't link to stuff they like anymore, really. It used to be techno-gear-heads like us, and we usually posted our favorite links or even our bookmark files directly. Joe Shmoe doesn't. The mere fact that a very small bunch of people with blogs(not to mention the companies that manage to get 60 links to the same page into google results) can sway google is a perfect example of how few people link anymore off their homepages. Don't like it? Put up links to your favorite stuff on your homepage, and don't forget to use proper descriptive text(see the w3's homepage- "here" is a perfect example of what NOT to use between the A tags!)

And now, my head is about to explode from all this deep thinking :-) [discuss!]

Re:Where, not how much! (2, Interesting)

Graymalkin (13732) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427457)

...and don't forget to use proper descriptive text(see the w3's homepage- "here" is a perfect example of what NOT to use between the A tags!)


No kidding. Here [google.com] .

Re:Where, not how much! (3, Insightful)

cperciva (102828) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427563)

don't forget to use proper descriptive text(see the w3's homepage- "here" is a perfect example of what NOT to use between the A tags!)

Not necessarily. For material which you don't intend for people to find via search engines, it's entirely appropriate.

For example, if you've got a web page about some software you've written, and you've got a tarball linked from that page, you probably want Google to point people towards the page, not the tarball. Saying that the tarball is <a href="foo.tar.gz">here</a> reduces the chance that the tarball will appear inappropriately as a search result.

Re:Where, not how much! (3, Insightful)

seanadams.com (463190) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427599)

Again, gasp, shock- the old system was better.

You lost me there... how, exactly, was the old system better? I know precisely where to go for "the usual things", like stock quotes, weather, news, etc. A portal is of no value beyond a cursory introduction to the 'net, and that's why the guys like excite, yahoo, etc are dead/dying. What google helps me find is the gold that could never be traced out by manuallly maintained indexes that I might frequent.

I agree with you that widespread dependence on google is a bit frightening, but the worst we'd end up with if google disappeared (or lost credibility) is what we had before, which was basically jack shit.

Content? (4, Funny)

Mish (50810) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427432)

Nearly half of U.S. Internet users have built Web pages, posted photos, written comments or otherwise added to the enormous variety of material available online
This must be some new anf generous definition of the word 'content' that I haven't come across yet.

And 99% of it is crap (5, Insightful)

jaltoids (9737) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427433)

OK

Buying a copy of word and sitting down and typing isnt going to make you a writer

Buying a copy of dreamweaver (or shudder front page) isnt going to make you a web designer. People do things on the web that they would never do in their front yard. How many of you have seen those garish sites that make you want to cry, or your eyes bleed? People have forgotten that the web is a PUBLIC space, it is one giant central park.

Just because you can do something dosen't mean you should, and people posting on the web need to remember this!

Re:And 99% of it is crap (1)

Vancorps (746090) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427569)

Why? Seriously, the web is not public space anymore, that is what you would like it to be and that is how it used to be. Now it is owned by a few very large corporations. Small people still have the ability to post content but generally only with the help of the larger corporation.

Buying a copy of Word doesn't make you a writer, but... writing does make you a writer! That's pure opinion, just because you don't like it doesn't give you the right to say they should write or post to their own web site. If you don't like then don't view it! That's your right.

As for the last statement, "I didn't say it couldn't, I said you shouldn't" (Simpsons)

Sorry, just like the quote. People do a lot of things they shouldn't but that doesn't mean they shouldn't have the option. If no one likes their site then the site will eventually come down. If the opposite is true then why shouldn't they keep posting?

Re:And 99% of it is crap (5, Insightful)

Peeet (730301) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427575)

Central park, maybe not; no one ever forces you to look at their site. it's hard to put an analogy on the web and peoples personal sites because posting a personal site simultaneously (sp?) puts it at the same level as the largest most visited site on the net and the smallest least known pointless site. It's one giant level playing field where one site is never more or less accesible than another (all of this disregarding some variables like the slashdot effect or search engines or simplicity of domain name)

The point is, anyone can put stuff up and I think should be encouraged. It's not like this weighs the internet down and slows it down for the rest of us, at least as far as i know, but it instead adds another node of possible information. I don't know how many times I have received some sort of small snippet of useful information from someone's homepage or description or information of a personal hobby.

I also wish sometimes that people would post more of their stuff into the sort of "public domain" that the internet creates. If I had time and bandwidth to spare, I would post sites that explain the simple steps of how to get started into projects or hobbies or school assignments that I have done or quick explanations that bridge those gaps left by hardcore enthusiasts who have whole webrings devoted to the advanced topics of some hobby, but no one gives a good introduction helpers to the basic beginner, amerateur (I mangled that spelling.) things to do or know. Like what was your first few weeks of learning directly after you discovered this thing's existance? **cough**linux**cough** What do all those damned abbreviations stand for or where did that weird nonsensical name come from? How does this compare to other options? We all have to relearn this and then after the frustration and steep learning curve, we never go back and try and make that easier for others, lessen the learning curve.

Yes there's a lot of crap websites out there, but what do you care? A) no one is forcing you to look at it and B) it doesn't slow down or bog the internet or take up precious space (although IP addresses could be argued) because it creates its own space to exist in as soon as it goes up. The internet is one of the most free open things in existance.

Crap is an inevitability in free/openness and is a good sign that it still is a free and open system. Embrace it.

And yet broadband providers CRIPPLE us. (3, Insightful)

flacco (324089) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427442)

User-generated content is a huge sleeping giant that, if a bit low on production value, is capable of being so precisely targetted at its audience that it could nibble away at the market share of the lowest-common-conceptual-denominator-despite-its-l as-vegas-style-production-value shlock coming out of hollywood these days.

unfortunately the promise of commercial-free, user-created content is ruthlessly stymied by broadband providers' policies forbidding Joe Schmoe User from setting up his own servers, and by gutting upload speeds to pathetically low rates of transfer.

welcome to the "you-are-a-docile-receptive-sheep" consumer media ghetto.

Re:And yet broadband providers CRIPPLE us. (4, Interesting)

cpghost (719344) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427489)

and by gutting upload speeds to pathetically low rates of transfer.

It would be nice if ADSL were extended to allow a kind of "reverse bandwidth" command. This command could be used dynamically by the customer's [router's] IP stack, e.g. like this: "As long as there's nothing receive, allow maximal outbound bandwidth. As soon as content is received, reverse direction."

BTW, not all providers' policies forbid servers. It's just a matter of switching to more user-friendly companies.

The biggest problem for Joe Schmoe is finding suitable DNS providers for their brand new domain name. DynDNS, ZoneEdit etc... will not continue to provide this for free for very long...

Re:And yet broadband providers CRIPPLE us. (4, Insightful)

Vancorps (746090) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427585)

That's why you "donate" to DynDNS to get them to do it for you. It really is an excellent service. I've been with them for years now, I first ordered at 3am and within a half hour I got an email saying my account was setup from a geek that was just up all night doing something or other. Was great. If there were a service worth donating to it is that.

I'm impressed that considering I have been a member for years they continue to offer more and more services, many of them are free! So maybe you're wrong on the last part, I hope so at least.

Not me! (-1, Redundant)

frogg320 (722290) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427443)

I for one flatly refuse to contribute to this online "interweb" rubbish! You'll see no comments from me, thank you very much!

Gratz (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8427525)

congratz, by posting the above message you just joined in.

Don't forget to... (1, Flamebait)

maxpublic (450413) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427460)

...cue the arrogant little pricks who will jump up to exclaim "yeah, but 99% of it is shit - except for my brilliant prose, of course."

Douche bags, start your engines! Time to bare your bloated egos for all to see!

Max

Re:Don't forget to... (2, Funny)

ColaMan (37550) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427516)

What? oh, sorry, I wasn't paying attention....

yeah but what you say is true - 99% of it is shit - except for my brilliant prose, of course.

(ego the size of a planet? moi?)

My contribution: (3, Funny)

Maskirovka (255712) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427472)

Nearly Half of U.S. 'Net Users Post Content.


Given the per capita fitness attitudes in the US, that'a whole lot of content most of of the world doesn't want to see.

*ducks*

Make that! (0, Offtopic)

metrazol (142037) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427476)

One more! Mouahahaha
Booyeah! I'm a statistic.

All I had to do was post a comment to Slashdot. Gee, in the good ol' days, you had to shoot somebody or get an STD...

Yeah, right... (2, Interesting)

Ancient Devices King (469802) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427480)

According to them, only 2% of adult American internet users visit "adult websites" on a typical day.

More seriously though, I find it hard to believe that only 54% of adults with internet access use that access on a typical day.

Re:Yeah, right... (4, Informative)

Texas Rose on Lava L (712928) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427528)

According to them, only 2% of adult American internet users visit "adult websites" on a typical day.

News flash: people lie about sex [whitehouse.gov] .

More seriously though, I find it hard to believe that only 54% of adults with internet access use that access on a typical day.

Dialup, which is what most people have, is a pain in the ass. While we're using our DSL lines to post 20 comments a day to Slashdot, most people are in front of a different kind of monitor, watching the latest Fear Factor or Joe Millionaire or biased "news" program [foxnews.com] .

Good for the US and all, but.. (4, Interesting)

cmacmanus (713176) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427484)

Despite the fact that most of the people who populate the internet are from North America, what are the statistics for the rest of the world?

Yeah, but we know what the real content is (5, Funny)

pdxdada (684092) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427495)

By the numbers now, if 44% of people surveyed contribute content to the internet and 98% of the internet is porn, than a wopping 43% or about 120 million americans are involved in the porn industry. Statistics are a wonderful thing.

Michael and Censorware (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8427509)

I was wondering why so many number of flat-out-lies come from michael. I found it.

http://www.sethf.com/freespeech/censorware/proje ct /bennett.php

Micheal and Slashdot, well it looks like it is going down the drain.

WHAT content? (4, Insightful)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427512)

1) It means that 56% of American internet users are plain parasites who take and give nothing back - and don't participate in any online communities.
2) Maybe that's better... Anyway... Great most of the content is junk that makes finding "true gems" even harder. (webforum blurbs, webpages which repeat the same stolen articles and photos 1000's times, flames, unanswered questions and clueless answers to mailing lists, misleading links, fake keywords... finding something new, creative and useful is getting gradually harder, not easier because of this "richness")

That's a hell of a lot of *BSD trolls.... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8427547)

Us trolls generate a lot of noise though...heh.

"created content for others to enjoy" ? (2, Interesting)

+ve_flow (749684) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427557)

hmm, "create content for others to enjoy" this is quite dubious. From my experience only a minimal amount of content provides me with enjoyment and advances my position along this positive path. Hence the reason i take my input from moderated and colaborative sources(eg slashdot.org +3 and news.google.com) in order that which I wish to avoid.

Its true! I aswered YES for all 103 accounts. (2, Funny)

rufusdufus (450462) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427583)

Really there are only 10 of us, all with dupe accounts. Move along.

Gentoo 2004 Released! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8427584)

I guess that's why (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8427595)

the Internet is so GAY
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