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April 21, 2007
More data for the 1% Rule
Just 0.16% of all visitors to YouTube upload videos to it, and 0.2% of visitors to Flickr upload photos. That's according to data shared by Hitwise's Bill Tancer this week at Web 2.0 Expo, adding a few sizable blocks of evidence in support of the 1% Rule.
But apparently Bill also reported that "4.6% of all visits to Wikipedia pages are to edit entries on the site." If that's the case, that's a new number for Wikipedia and a significant breakout from the 1% Rule, which has governed Wikipedia's growth since day one. But data shared at the Expo isn't found on Hitwise's site, so it's not clear whether 4.6% represents the creation of new entries (the basis of the 1% Rule) and editing of existing ones, or just editing of existing entries (the 10% Rule on synthesizing content). For any democratized content-creation forum, it's considerably easier (and probably more tempting) to tweak what's already been created than start something new.
It would be interesting to learn the breakdowns of the YouTube and Flickr percentages -- do 20% of those 0.16% and 0.2% visitors upload 80% of the content? Or is it closer to 1% as well, i.e. a 1% Rule within a 1% Rule.
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I'm wondering about the Wikipedia numbers.
4.6% of all visits is much different than 4.6% of all visitors. The small number of core article editors likely make a disproportionately high number of visits to pages, which could inflate those numbers.
Out of the three sites you mentioned here, I'd actually expect Wikipedia to have the least number of people actively contributing.
Of course, I could be wrong. Maybe the action of uploading media to Flickr and Youtube are enough of a mental roadblock that people feel more comfortable making a small edit to a Wikipedia article.
Thanks for the data!
1% rule or 10% rule? Can there be more important participants than the "producers"?
After listening to a podcast by iMediaConnection called "Behind YouTube Hits" I changed my previous perspective on the 1% rule. The reason being that the 1% just uploads the information and tags it. This sorts the content into categories but it does not help the remaining 99% locate it by qualitative measures. In other words, the content is there but it is very difficult to find good stuff.
Now in a lot of contexts the 1% rule is supported by a 10% number – these are the people who participate with the content - commenting, rating and recommending it. The interviewees in the iMediaConnection podcast – who had done research on youtube members - said that without these 10%, the remaining 89% would be unable to find anything useful. And I gather that if participants can’ t find the good stuff, the network would be regarded as useless and abandoned?
I know this might be on the side of the original post, but would love some thoughts regarding this? Is it in fact the “1 + 10 percent rule”?
The data about wikipedia is interesting considering the size it has reached.
Is is possible that users are running out of new subjects about which to write?
I can't remember the last time I looked something up on W-pedia and didn't find an entry.
Sorry, but I don't understand what the current round of exasperated sites discussing this are getting all worked up about. At least here I get a sense of "Yep. Just as expected." And shouldn't it be? Both the numbers from last year and what we see in the world around us should indicate - qualitatively - that the vast majority isn't doing anything but consuming (regardless of what Time's Person of the Year selection suggests). So can someone explain why this update is generating so much "OMG, look at the numbers!" kinds of posts? Personally, I don't find this a bit surprising and feel as if last year's discussions sufficiently primed everyone.
Hi Jackie, I don't really assume this is news for you, in this context, but just in case: Jacob Nielsen estimated the participation rate at Wikipedia much lower, but still proposes the 90-9-1 rule, which I personally feel is a good rule of thumb: http://www.useit.com/alertbox/participation_inequality.html
Consumers outnumber the creators 99 to 1. Same apply to information!!