OECD on The Participative Web


The concept of the “participative web” is based on an Internet increasingly
influenced by intelligent web services that empower the user to contribute
to developing, rating, collaborating on and distributing Internet content
and customising Internet applications. As the Internet is more embedded in
people’s lives “users” draw on new Internet applications to express
themselves through “user-created content” (UCC).

This study describes the rapid growth of UCC, its increasing role in
worldwide communication and draws out implications for policy. Questions
addressed include: What is user-created content? What are its
key drivers, its scope and different forms? What are new value chains and
business models? What are the extent and form of social, cultural and
economic opportunities and impacts? What are associated
challenges? Is there a government role and what form could it take?
Definition, measurement and drivers of user-created content
There is no widely accepted definition of UCC, and measuring its social,
cultural and economicimpacts are in the early stages. In this study UCC is
defined as: i) content made publicly available over the
Internet, ii) which reflects a “certain amount of creative effort”, and iii)
which is “created outside of professional routines and practices”. Based on
this definition a taxonomy of UCC types and hostingplatforms is presented.
While the measurement of UCC is in its infancy, available data show
thatbroadband users produce and share content at a high rate, and this is
particularly high for younger age
groups (e.g. 50% of Korean Internet users report having a homepage and/or a
blog). Given strong network effects a small number of platforms draw large
amounts of traffic, and online video sites and social networking sites are
developing to be the most popular websites worldwide.
The study also identifies: technological drivers (e.g. more wide-spread
broadband uptake, new web technologies), social drivers (e.g. demographic
factors, attitudes towards privacy), economic drivers


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