Will the 1% rule change?

By Ross Dawson on August 24, 2006 | Permalink

I was recently interviewed by Mediasnackers, a neat site that focuses on how young people consume and create media. The interview, which is on the Mediasnackers site, covers a number of interesting themes, such as power shifting to the edge and edgeio, user generated content, and the shift by Gen Y to heuristic learning styles that Ross Gibson of UTS pointed out at the Future of Media Summit. I was asked about the 1% rule, which, based on research on YouTube, Wikipedia, and other sites, suggests that approximately 1% of a site’s visitors contribute content, and 10% interact in some form with the content. For those old enough to remember bulletin board systems (BBS), the rule of thumb used to be a “lurker” to participant ratio of 1:10. However there are now far more options to consume content, and clearly video and other multimedia content takes more effort to create than text comments. Undoubtedly, as generations shift a far larger proportion of people will create online content. In the US over half of teens have created and posted online content of some form. Yet it’s also important to note that 18% of American over 65s have also created content, so the gap may not be as big as people tend to think. The proliferation of online content sites is likely to keep pace with growth in content creation, leaving the 1% rule a good rule of thumb, especially for multimedia content.

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