By Jacqui Cheng | Published: April 18, 2007 – 10:38AM CT
Unsurprisingly, the vast majority of traffic to sites that are meant to help users share photos, videos, and knowledge with each other is made up of people who just want to observe. After all, it takes a lot less effort to be a wallflower than star of the show, even if the “show” is made up of millions of exhibits ranging from hilarious to downright shameful.
Tancer said that despite the seemingly low involvement, however, overall visits to the popular content sharing sites are up by 686 percent since 2005, and currently account for 12 percent of overall web traffic in the US. That number is likely to continue to grow over the next several years, as more and more sites pop up to allow web users to put their lives on display—and take advantage of that voyeuristic tendency in many of us, of course. According to Reuters, Tancer told his audience, “Web 2.0 and participatory sites (are) really gaining traction.”
Just within the last week, Will Ferrell made a splash in the world of user-generated video content with his new site, FunnyorDie, meant to spark more viewer participation by way of voting. Sites like his are only going to become more common as companies and marketers figure out how to coax more participation out of the audience. Could we, one day, have an entirely web-based American Idol?