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.