The 1% rule

One-percent rule of contributionI’ve been trying to incentivize people to use the company Wiki. A new post puts it into perspective. It would appear that less than 1% of people actually contribute in an democratized community.

Out of the millions of visitors to the Wikipedia in June 2005, only 68,682 actually clicked the edit button and contributed in some fashion. There’s core group of about 3,000 editors who make over 100 edits per month.

It all seems downright worrying until you consider the fact that if you want to grow a community, you don’t need to focus on millions. You just focus on your 1%.

The caveat is based on my personal experience with the Wikipedia. I spent a lot of time editing articles in the first month that I found the site. In fact, my first edit was a vandalizing one – I deleted an article, just to see what happens. So the $1,000,000 question is whether the 1% of active contributors are the same people month to month? If it’s a revolving door, then we’ll definitely have a problem catering to the top 1% because they’ll prove rather elusive.

Update: Seth Godin talks about a possible future for Digg based on the 1% rule.

2 Responses to “The 1% rule”

  1. 1 K T Cat

    If you’re talking about a corporate wiki, we’re trying that now and it’s a dismal failure. The 1% rule needs to be applied to realize that we’re too small to get enough editors to make something like this work. How many companies are large enough?

  2. 2 krasimir

    Totally agreed that size does matter. If we apply the 1% rule to corporate wikis, it follows that the organization will need to have at least several HUNDRED employees in order to get 2-3 editors who actually contribute in a meaningful way.

    Our own wiki (the company is 30 people) gets edits mainly from our QA lead, the Tech Director and myself. That’s a whopping 10%! Of course, it’s more like an hour a week spent on the wiki which isn’t exactly spectacular growth.

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