Teens, UGC, 59%: sorry, pardon?

An extraordinary statistic just published in a Pew Internet report on content generation by teens seems to imply that the 1% rule is a little out of kilter with the reality of what’s going on among the yoof.

The report claims that 59% of American teenagers engage in at least one form of online content creation. As the comments on this TechCrunch post suggest, this does seem a highly dubious figure given our current expectations of engagement with UGC.

The report implies that 27% of those who do prosume also “maintain a personal web page” – apparently (if I’ve read this right), not including those who have created a MySpace or Facebook profile.

I’m not sure whether to read this as a good thing (“hey, UGC ain’t got such minimal takeup after all”) or whether it’s actually just false maths doing weird things for a good PR hit. After all, I guess you could count creating anything online (a profile on any social networking site, an avatar in Habbo Hotel, an email…?!) as UGC if you wanted to slant it that way.

Right. Enough. It’s Christmas Eve night and I’ve had it with being online.

My prediction for 2008? Global internet meltdown as the little-known 2008 bug comes into effect at 12:01 New Year’s Day. I’m already looking for a non-tech job and if you trust me, you should too.

Have fun 🙂

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