I’m always looking for good news as there seems to be so little of it these days. I found this hard-to-believe report today, demonstrating that 44% of Americans who are online contribute their thoughts to the Web. (The report can also be downloaded from this link at the wonderful Pew Internet and American Life Project site.)
This is a truly astounding statistic and its meaning is both deep and broad. Here are some other stats:
17% have posted written material on sites.
10% have posted comments to newsgroups.
21% have posted photos to websites.
13% have their own website.
2% have blogs.
49% of content creators are women.
48% are between the ages of 30 and 49.
20% of content creators are, yes, students.
If we do the math, this means that, of the approximately 120 million people online in the U.S., 2.4 million have weblogs. This is a sign that the Internet’s vitality is maintained not by corporate interests alone but my individual human beings. It’s a sign that the health of American democracy and speech may not be as dire as one might think. It’s a sign that communication technologies are just now becoming ubiquitous. It’s also a sign that there is a lot of online dating going on.

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