Have we re-invented TV?

Pundit Bruce Nussbaum writes about a report by analyst Bill Tancer that suggests most of us are using the 'net as a kind of glorified TV, meaning we sit and watch. Only a small percentage of 'net users are actively participating in online "social networking" sites and an even smaller number is actually creating content and posting it.

It is an interesting look at some hard data about what we are doing online, and near the end of the article, an important point is made but perhaps not emphasized enough. While it is true that the percentage of people blogging and posting pictures and video is small, it is still a very large group of people: perhaps 2 million or more in the U.S. and 20 million or more worldwide. Fifteen years ago, when the first community broadband network was started in Blacksburg, the idea that millions of people would be writing and making videos viewed by tens of millions more people was regarded as sheer fantasy. But it has come to pass.

Other studies, notably by the Pew Foundation, show that most of the online creative work is being done by younger people. As the Internet Age matures, the percentage of people actively participating will increase.

From a community perspective, if you are concerned about attracting and retaining young people in your community, what economic development and community development strategies do you have to ensure that younger workers view your community as a "connected" community? What makes them want to live in your town?

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