I had a conversation with Troy Morris, the Community Evagelist from Wetpaint Wikis recently, and something he said has been buzzing around in my head ever since. He called it the 90-9-1 rule. Ninety per cent of people just look at a wiki, nine per cent of people join the wiki and perhaps contribute something and one percent of people become engaged and make it work.
Probably much of online activity is like this. I am in the ninety per cent for most of the blogs that I read, a nine per cent twitterer, and in the one per cent group for certain wikis and other projects that I feel passionate about.
It occurs to me that much of life is like this—churches, service clubs, school councils, I haven’t yet thought of an organization that isn’t working because of the few. I guess the lesson is that if you want to expand the number of people involved in something, it’s of little use to keep flogging the ones you already have contact with. You have to expose your ideas to a whole lot more people. You’re not going to change them all. Hmmm.