the demographics of web 2.0: white, bright, male, and loaded?

You are probably male, college-educated, white-skinned, and affluent. You’re between the ages of 25 and 55, and you don’t have kids at home.

Was I right? It’s amazing what you can do with a properly tuned magic 8-ball.

quantcast-sm.pngActually, I’ve been checking out the demographics of web 2.0 – focusing on social aggregators, with the occasional venture into social photo-sharing and blogging. Quantcast has provided the datasets, which I think are substantially more accurate than Alexa – though standard disclaimers apply.

Digg, Fark, Delicious
The demographics are startlingly similar across the board. Take Digg, Fark, and del.icio.us. Here are the similarities:

  • about 100,000 unique visitors each month
  • over 80% of visitors are white
  • well over half of visitors have at least some college

There are some differences in demographics, but mostly of degree. Delicious visitors skew the most to female, to wealthy, and to educated.

(The most interesting difference is in visitor behavior: only 12% of Digg’s and 14% of Delicious’ visitors are regulars, while almost half of Fark’s visitors are. Could those be chinks in the armor of very successful web 2.0 start-ups?)

Other sites look very similiar, with differences mainly in degree. Flickr is a little more female, and a little wealthier. WordPress.com bloggers are not quite so affluent, but a bit better educated as a whole.

Age 2.0
Perhaps the most startling commonality for me is the age of the users. In most cases, roughly half of the users are 35 or older, with significant chunks over the age of 55. We’re not just talking about teenagers and 20-somethings: web 2.0 is across the entire age spectrum.

Fark users are the youngest, predicatably, but still almost 40% of Fark visitors are 45 or older.

pie.pngYouTube and MySpace: abberations
YouTube and MySpace are abberations in the data, if you can call such huge phenomena abberations.

They’re both fairly white, though not to the same extent as the companies in the social aggregator space. But their users are significantly less educated, less wealthy, significantly more likely to have kids at home, and much more likely to have more equal numbers of male and female visitors.

Figures lie, liars figure
While we always need a degree of suspicion regarding statistics, I find these numbers intriguing.

Are all the same people, or same type of people, congregating at the social aggregators? Is MySpace the web ghetto, always getting no respect, because its users are poorer and less educated?

The best thing about Quantcast stats is that any of us can check them out – and anyone who is an online publisher can help improve their quality.

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More about web 2.0 and demographics:

Am I missing an interesting link? Let me know, and I’ll add it.

[tags] web2.0, demographics, youtube, myspace, aggregator, social media, fark, delicious, digg, john koetsier [/tags]

 


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