Online Teens, Mainline Content Creators

    November 4, 2005

Ever wonder what your teenagers are doing? How are they spending their time? There’s a legitimate chance they’re loading something online. According to the new Pew Internet and American Life Project study, 57% of online teens create content for the Internet. This means about 12 million kids, 12-17 or about half of all teens are content creators.

33% of online teens share their own creations online, such as artwork, photos or videos. 32% say they’ve created or worked on webpages or blogs for others, including those for groups they belong to, friends or school assignments.

The report also said 19% of teens, 12-17 keep a blog online and 38% or about 8 million read them. The study said teens are much more likely than adults to blog and they also more likely read blogs. Pew defined blogs this way:

Blogs are a type of webpage, typically created and maintained with software that allows internet users to easily post material to a webpage, usually displaying the material in a reverse chronological order with the newest items at the top.

One of the most relevant points of the study is the tech savvy side of bloggers. Bloggers, even teens, are much more tech savvy than any other group. Blogging teens are more likely to use cell phones, PDAs and are more likely to use them to go online.

They also live in more technologically rich households where they’re also more likely to have their own computer in a private space. Bloggers also more likely to do everyday activities online, including getting news, use instant messaging, making online purchases and especially creating and sharing online content and activities.

The study also mentioned teens really like doing their own thing either in creating, remixing or just sharing digital content. Many of these tools were previously unavailable except on a professional level and teens are now getting their shot at playing with these toys.

As the big portals and other ad sellers look for ways to entice people into the market, this study should be telling. It means the teen market is ripe for the picking and they are also willing to experiment with new technologies. This market continues to grow and it’s got a real appeal. It’s easy to tell why companies like AOL are working so hard to go after this niche.

John Stith is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.