Saturday 28 April 2007

No surprises in reality check on participation in social software

Care of Stu Downes and hot on the tail of news about data from Technorati that shows the blogosphere has "stalled", research from Charlene Li provides some data on consumer participation in social media. Li provides this great little ladder graphic to explain the distribution of participation by dividing the world into creators, critics, collectors, joiners, spectators and inactives:


Ross Mayfield has also reviewed Li's paper, pointing to his more theoretical power law theory.

Based on these reviews so far and the conversation around it, this paper also reminds me of the 1% rule and a model I used for a long time now, well before the tools we tagged social software appeared, from Cliff Figallo. However, like Mayfield I think its great to have some data that reflects the gut feel many of us have had about participation in social software, i.e. it was never the case that everyone would write a blog or that everyone would edit a wiki. So Li's data really puts claims that the blogosphere has stalled into a more realistic perspective.

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