Are We All Online Content Creators Now? Web 2.0 and Digital Divides

Authors

  • David R. Brake PhD

    1. Senior Lecturer in the division of Journalism and Communication, University of Bedfordshire, Room A102, Park Square, Luton, Bedfordshire, LU1 3JU, United Kingdom
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  • Accepted by previous editor Maria Bakardjieva

Abstract

Despite considerable interest in online content creation there has been comparatively little academic analysis of the distribution of such practices, both globally and among social groups within countries. Drawing on theoretical frameworks used in digital divide studies, I outline differences in motivation, access, skills, and usage that appear to underlie and perpetuate differences in online content creation practices between social groups. This paper brings together existing studies and new analyses of existing survey datasets. Together they suggest online content creators tend to be from relatively privileged groups and the content of online services based on their contributions may be biased towards what is most interesting or relevant to them. Some implications of these findings for policymakers and researchers are considered.

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