Web 2.0 not as hot as perceived: study

By siliconindia   |   Wednesday, 18 April 2007, 07:00 Hrs
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San Francisco: According to a latest study, Web 2.0 may not be as hot as it was perceived to be. Most Web 2.0 sites ? ones where users contribute their own text, pictures and video content ? register far less participation than commonly assumed, a study showed on Tuesday.

According to a study of online surfing data by Bill Tancer, an analyst with Web audience measurement firm Hitwise, a tiny 0.16 percent of visits to Google's top video-sharing site, YouTube, are by users seeking to upload video for others to watch.

Similarly, only two-tenths of one percent of visits to Flickr, a popular photo-editing site owned by Yahoo Inc., are to upload new photos, the Hitwise study found.

The vast majority of visitors to these sites are the Internet equivalent of the television generation's couch potatoes ? voyeurs who like to watch rather than create Tancer's statistics show.

The only exception in terms of participation in Web 2.0 sites lies in Wikipedia, the anyone-can-edit online encyclopaedia, the Hitwise study found. Around 4.6 percent of all visits to Wikipedia pages are to edit entries on the site.

Despite relatively low-user involvement, visits to Web 2.0-style sites have spiked 668 percent in two years, Tancer said.

"Web 2.0 and participatory sites (are) really gaining traction," he told an audience of roughly 3,000 Internet entrepreneurs, developers and financiers attending the Web 2.0 Expo industry conference in San Francisco this week.

Web 2.0, a phrase popularized by conference organizer Tim O'Reilly, refers to the current generation of Web sites that seek to turn viewers into contributors by giving them tools to
write, post, comment and upload their own creative work.

Besides Wikipedia, other well-known Web 2.0 destinations are social network sites like News Corp.'s MySpace and Facebook and photo-sharing site Photobucket.

Visits by Web users to the category of participatory Web 2.0 sites account for 12 percent of U.S. Web activity, up from only 2 percent two years ago, the study showed.

Web 2.0 photo-sharing sites now account for 56 percent of visits to all online photo sites. Of that, Photobucket aloneaccounts for 41 percent of the traffic, Hitwise data shows.

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