The observation: For every 100 people interacting with your product, 11 are influencing the other 89.

Here’s how it works:

Per Charles Arthur (of The Guardian), “it’s an emerging rule of thumb that suggests that if you get a group of 100 people online then one will create content, 10 will “interact” with it (commenting or offering improvements) and the other 89 will just view it.”

“(Early) metrics garnered from community sites suggested that about 80% of content was produced by 20% of the users, but the growing number of data points is creating a clearer picture of how Web 2.0 groups need to think. For instance, a site that demands too much interaction and content generation from users will see nine out of 10 people just pass by.”


“Bradley Horowitz of Yahoo points out that much the same applies at Yahoo: in Yahoo Groups, the discussion lists, “1% of the user population might start a group; 10% of the user population might participate actively, and actually author content, whether starting a thread or responding to a thread-in-progress; 100% of the user population benefits from the activities of the above groups,” he noted on his blog ( in February.”

Likewise, “50% of all Wikipedia article edits are done by 0.7% of users, and more than 70% of all articles have been written by just 1.8% of all users, according to the Church of the Customer blog.”

Misha Cornes, of Organic, gives us this: “New Influencers rate Amazon reviews, add comments to Yahoo news stories, post video replies on YouTube. New Influencers see their improvements on the work of others as a form of self-expression and a way to gain social currency. By interacting with original content, they validate an author’s expertise. And they are just as valuable to the social network as content creators.”

Thanks to the BuzzCanuck blog for the heads up and the gateway to the links behind this discussion thread.

What are the implications when it comes to your business? Well, that’s for you to figure out… But it shouldn’t be too difficult. 😉