Participation Inequality: Encouraging More Users to Contribute

I stumbled upon this interesting article from Jakob Nielsen regarding user participation which explains that in general a tiny fraction of your user base will be the leaving reviews or posting comments.

"... a tiny minority of users usually accounts for a disproportionately large amount of the content and other system activity."

The article also points out how this tendency for an exceptionally small minority to engage can skew feedback when trying to garner useful information from your user base.

In general, who is likely to be contributing reviews to your directory and participating in your social website?

  • 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