A third of all Internet users in the U.S. now post status updates on social networking services like Twitter and Facebook at least once per week. According to new data from Forrester Research, more than half of what the report calls "conversationalists" are female and 70% are 30 years old or older. Forrester's data also shows that 59% of all U.S. Internet users now use social networks and that 70% consume content on social media and social networking sites.

As Forrester analyst Josh Bernoff notes, two years ago, when the company first looked at similar data, people's online behavior with regards to creating and consuming content was very similar to what Internet users are doing today. One major difference, however, is the rise of conversational interactions. People still blog, comment and vote on social news sites like Digg and Reddit. Over the last two years, however, the fastest growing group in Forrester's surveys have been conversationalists who use Twitter and Facebook to post status updates and engage in conversations with their friends.

More People Join Social Networks - Number of Creators Remains Stable

Creators - those who publish their own blogs or upload audio they created - now make up 24% of all Internet users. Joiners - those users who maintain a profile on a social networking site - make up 59% of all users. Interestingly, while the number of joiners has grown rapidly, the number of creators has remained relatively stable over the last few years. This makes sense, though, given that it's very easy to join a social network but relatively hard to create a podcast or maintain a blog.

Forrester classified 17% of all respondents as "inactives." These users don't participate in social networking activities at all.