Wednesday, 24 June 2009

The culture of engagement will take time

Just read an interesting article on the Auricle by Derek Morrison about the number of users generating content on twitter and wikipedia. It's a small number. On wikipedia, 1/10 of 1% account for half of the content and for twitter 10% do 90% of the tweets. So why so few? My gut reaction is that the opportunities for user generated content are so new that people are still getting used to the idea. Consuming content is what we've been doing all our lives so to switch to a more participatory approach is alien and will take some getting used to. Also, for most of us, our experience of the web are purely as a consumer. Our use fo Web 2.0 will follow this path and it will take time to grasp the difference. Besides, you can 'participate' in and benefit from Web 2.0 just by consuming. Apart from this blog, my use of Web 2.0 is as a consumer. And it's quite to go from consuming to producing - it took me ages to start this space up.

There are always going to be a minority who dominate proceedings just look at any classroom. But the fact that you can now participate, and so easily, makes a huge difference. You are going to get many, many more voices. Voices that you didn't hear before, voices with nowhere to go before, voices that didn't really think they had it in them to speak up. The voices will grow once people get used to the idea.

However, let's be clear. There has already been an explosion with benefits for everyone to see.

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