I've been having a conversation on another site recently about user participation on/in social networks.
Discussing how many people actively contribute or passively observe, with a particular interest in the proportion/percentage who upload original content, or mainly contribute via comments/uploading existing work, or are happy to simply lurk/read only?
And why, you may ask, do I ask?.
Well, there's nothing inherently wrong with any of these activities, (and I hasten to add, this isn’t a rant or finger-pointing exercise). Rather, it's a genuine inquiry into user involvement here.
In the early days of most SN's, there seemed to be a surge of enthusiasm to create, contribute and upload here. (Early adopter syndrome?)
However the traffic seems to ultimately degenerate into the; ‘Member A is friends with Member B’, or Member A joins Group C,' or 'here's another mindless music/lookylike/cute cat picture widget that I have figured out how to embed', variety.
All well and good, if that's what floats your boat, but it does seem to confirm the 1/9/90 principle I've been reading about recently. (Also known as the 1% rule.)
It postulates, (oh dear, dipping into the new meeja, stripey Paul Smith shirt, lexicon again), that 1/9/90 % of social media users split into create/contribute/lurk camps.
(I’ve personally always taken JN’s pronouncements with a large pinch of salt, but amongst the sodium you can often find a few gems.)
And more importantly, he does adopt a killer look. See below. One which I am sincerely considering emulating:
But I digress, again, and steer myself back to the question, 'Do enough people contribute enough original content on social networks?
Or is the majority happy to let a small, often unpaid percentage, carry most of the creative weight?
Perhaps it’s ROT thing for some?
In addition to Return On Investment, we now live in the era of ROT, Return On Time.
With a whole bunch of social 'outlets' to express ourselves in words, pictures, films and bookmarks: Writing a comment here and there, or cutting together a little movie, posting a tweet, embedding stuff in Google Maps etc, not only takes time to generate for the benefit of others social spaces, but it also consumes/steals time and content from some of our other, perhaps more ‘mainstream’ social channels.
For example, I’m posting less on my business blog, and it’s suffering because I now divert time in my day to a new, business-focussed social network in my neck of the woods. (Willing, and happily of course.)
And where I fall along the 1/9/90 continiuum could be to do with the fact that I’ve got far too much time on my hands, (but my diary, wife and local publican says otherwise), it maybe that most people on social networks are too busy earning a living to contribute more.
I’d be interested in your reaction, your views, and opinions in how we can encourage more creationists.
And if indeed we need to.
Or if we're content to recycle and repackage existing content. (Which in itself is no bad thing, if it’s work unseen by the community before.)
My guess is it’s a combo of both new and old.
With a bit more of an emphasis and boost to the new.