The prototypical computer whiz of popular imagination — pasty, geeky, male — has failed to live up to his reputation. Research shows that among the primary creators of Web content (blogs, graphics, photographs, web sites) are not your typical geek stereotype, but actually, teenage girls.
A study published in December by the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that among Web users ages 12 to 17, significantly more girls than boys blog (35 percent of girls compared with 20 percent of boys) and create or work on their own Web pages (32 percent of girls compared with 22 percent of boys). Girls also eclipse boys when it comes to building or working on Web sites for other people and creating profiles on social networking sites (70 percent of girls 15 to 17 have one, versus 57 percent of boys 15 to 17).
Video posting was the sole area in which boys outdid girls: boys are almost twice as likely as girls to post video files. This is not because girls are not proficient users of the technology, Professor Palfrey said. He suggested, rather, that videos are often less about personal expression and more about impressing others. It’s an ideal way for members of a subculture — skateboarders, snowboarders — to demonstrate their athleticism, he said.