The hallmark of Web 2.0 is supposed to be user generated content, wherein users contribute their own text, pictures and video content.

But according to Bill Tancer of Hitwise and the Red Herring article, Web 2.0: More Voyeurs than Creators.

According to Tancer, only .16% of visits to Google's YouTube are by users with the goal of uploading material. .16%. One has to wonder, as well, how much of that is truly original material.

Tancer further details that the numbers for Flickr are similar, with .2% of visitors destined to the site are there with the intention of uploading photos.

In other words: We like to watch.

The standout is Wikipedia, with 4.6% of all visits resulting in page edits.

In spite of the lower ratio of user contributions, visits to the overall Web 2.0 sector have increased by 688% over two years.

There are two sides to the story here... Glass half full or glass half empty?

My vote is glass half full... With the dearth of existing material, there is nothing but opportunity for a company that takes the time to create a compelling Web 2 strategy with unique content.

The part of the equation that is not made clear is what the ratio for Yahoo! Answers is. Based on the fact that it is, well, answers, it would seem to me that ratio would be much higher.

And does Yahoo! Answers qualify as a Web 2.0 proposition?

Well, according to Yahoo! Answers has quietly grown to over 90 million users worldwide, rivalling both MySpace and Facebook in terms of international reach and active members is about.

And Answers is quickly adding Web 2.0 features. They're take on social networking is a shared knowledge network, much the same as Wikipedia. And it seems to be working for them.

Have a good one.

~ The (SEP) Guy

P.S. In other analytics news, Experian has just acquired Hitwise for $240 Million.