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90-9-1 rule October 11, 2006

Posted by mark in : General , trackback

Web usability expert Jakob Nielsen has a post suggesting ways that online communities can encourage more users to contribute

…starting from a rule of thumb that :

  • 90% of users are lurkers (i.e., read or observe, but don’t contribute)
  • 9% of users contribute from time to time
  • 1% of users participate a lot and account for most contributions


1. Mark Beveridge » Twitter - 1/4/2007

[...] Displaying public conversations on a webpage attracts people (see: Jakob Nielsen’s 90-9-1 rule), even if they don’t post, or belong to groups; and it keeps a history (public or private). The website is the heart of the application. But posting is shown to be easy, because it’s short and doesn’t NEED to say anything clever, and so the initial hurdle is low (but the reason to continue is usually your group). Group-forming is easy and Reed’s Law says it has the potential to add huge value to a network (so should Twitter encourage it more, by adding an option to post to sub-groups of your contacts?); and a reluctance to allow it is one of many reasons given for Friendster surrendering its lead. [...]