A new study by Jupiter Research, as reported in yesterday’s Guardian, suggests that "bloggers and internet pundits are exerting a "disproportionately large influence" on society…" Ok, we already knew that, but the research is actually quite interesting because it suggests that alongside the huge growth in social networking and other community building websites in recent years and months, 3/4 of Europeans don’t actually create any online content. The study suggests that:
- More than half of the internet users on the continent are passive and do not contribute to the web at all
- a further 23% only respond when prompted
- although "active" web users make up only a small proportion of Europe’s online population, they are increasingly dominating public conversations and creating business trends
- unprompted contributors are generally younger and more vocal than the wider online population and are increasingly important as opinion formers and trend-setters.
Jupiter’s Julian Smith told The Guardian that "The strongest part of their influence is on the media: if something online suddenly becomes a story in the local press, then it matters."