Bill Tancer from Hitwise and Dafe Sifry from Technorati are on stage now, discussing data about the participatory web. The first slide from Bill shows a 668% growth in web 2.0 over the last year, based on the top participatory sites combined (in US), like Wikipedia, YouTube, etc. The next chart is similar, showing just visits to Wikipedia. It outnumbers visits to 1.0 encyclopedia website Encarta over 3400 to 1. The photo category is showing particularly big growth, in terms of web 2.0 sites over web 1.0 sites (flickr vs ofoto for example).
Next Bill looks at participators vs viewers. Some 'visits to media upload' ratios: 0.16% for YouTube, 0.2% Flickr, 4.59% Wikipedia (entry edits). Dave Sifry notes that the creation percentage - I guess I'd call it the read/write ratio! - is certainly a lot lower than the old 80/20 rule. Bill drills down into the participatory figures, which shows for Wikipedia that older users are much more likely to be participatory (35-55) whereas the younger users are the viewers. However for YouTube it is the 25-54 yr olds that upload videos - however note that Hitwise doesn't track <18. The gender breakdown shows that 76% of users are male on YouTube, but a 60/40 male/female split for wikipedia.
Predicting the next web 2.0 winner
Bill shows stats that show that YouTube went from zero to dominant market leader in just 6 weeks! It passed Yahoo and Google video search in 3 and 6 weeks respectively. Also during the 6 week early adopter phase, there were key segments over-represented: 'money and brains', 'young digerati', and 'bohemian mix'. Bill then showed some great stats about up and coming companies Hitwise has identified. Yelp is one of those poised to gain traction, along with stumbleupon and veoh. WeeWorld, Imeem and Pixo were also mentioned.
Dave Sifry is on now, with his State of the Live Web Q1 2007. He starts off by noting that his first high order bit a few years ago was on the state of the blogosphere, but there's been a huge shoft - videos, music, podcasts, etc. Technorati is tracking 70 million blogs now, at a rate of 120,000 new blogs per day - 1.5 million new posts per day. He compares to "an enormous amoeba". He says there are 15.3 million "active" blogs (21%). He also notes the mainstreaming of these technologies - and that people may not even notice they're reading a blog. 12% of the top 100 sites 6 months ago were blogs; but now he says it is 22%. Mainstream media is still at the top (NY Times etc), but there is growth in the blogs.
He looks now at the behaviors of the top bloggers. He says these are effects, not necessarily causes. He notes that influential bloggers post more frequently, on average twice a day. Whereas "magic middle" bloggers (about 3M) post on average once a day. Also influential bloggers have been at this at least 1-2 years. Finally, 88% of the top 100 is different than one year ago - i.e. it's very fluid.
In language, Japanese is now the top language - 37%. However there are undercounts: French, Korean and Chinese. English is now 33%, only one third.
Tagging has become a mainstream acitivity in blogging, according to Sifry - 230 Million tags over two years, with 37% of blog posts using author tags.
This was a great double-act speech and I look forward to drilling into the Hitwise data in particular some more. Technorati's data is always interesting, especially as they've been tracking the space for so long. Also Hitwise's analysis on which companies are most likely to become popular is an excellent breakthrough - and Read/WriteWeb will get in touch with Hitwise to analyze this some more.