Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Half of all media will be created by consumers?

The Boston Globe's "Business Filter" recently ran an item on the (perhaps slightly self-serving) prediction of an ambitious podcaster that soon, "50% of all media consumed will be created by other consumers."

Naaaaah! IMHO, I just don't believe that most people have enough of the time and skill necessary to create stuff that's good enough to interest anyone beyond their family and friends. It takes a Huge amount of the former and a pretty fair amount of the latter to produce something that might appeal to any meaningful chunk of the Public, doesn't it?

The Filter's Maura Welch printed another ratio a while back that sounded a lot more accurate, which, to roughly paraphrase -- meaning, if I remember correctly -- was that out of 100 websurfers, one creates content, nine comment or add to it somehow, and the other 90 watch. (Hunting around for this link, which was a good one...)

Just look at any message board, a mature technology that should be trusted to show long-term behavior, that shows the ratio of messengers to lurkers, or the number of replies to a topic vs. the number of views. This may be the bottom of the ladder content-wise, but the root is usually a good place to start looking at something. (Yes, ladders have roots, too, so there's nothing wrong with that metaphor.)

I got involved in a discussion somewhere recently that showed 5 entries to over 1000 views of that topic. And that's in a medium where it's possible to create and post a message real quick-like, not like the development time required for anything more evolved, like videos, blogs, etc.

(Of course, I'll admit I still have some trouble relating to the term "podcasting" -- to me, "pods" first reminds me of what the Body Snatchers invaded in. And this is no laughing matter: look what they did to poor Donald Sutherland!)

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