A formula for community engagement

Confused Of Calcutta » Blog Archive » None of Us is As Smart as All of Us

J.P. Rangaswami has a great formula for engagement and participation:

“I’ve always believed in a simple rule-of-thumb about opensource communities:

* For every 1000 people who join a community:
* 920 are lurkers, passive observers
* 60 are watchers, active observers capable and willing to kibitz
* 15 are activists, actually doing something
* …and 5 are hyperactive, passionate about what they’re doing, almost to a point of obsession”

This maps pretty closely to the experience I’ve seen at Reel-Time since 1995.

Author: David Churbuck

Cape Codder with an itch to write

0 thoughts on “A formula for community engagement”

  1. …and 2 are obsessed to the point that for the good of the community you will need to eventually stick their head on a pike as a warning to others.

    That’s the only missing bit…notches in axe handles.

    Chief Lord Executioner – Reel-Time.com

  2. Mark — you need to blog about your wonderful move in VBulletin to ban users to that special place where they can continue to rant and rave — think they are doing so successfully because they can see their posts — but in fact are invisible to everyone but themselves. The old “In Space No One Can Hear You Scream Trick.”

  3. I’ve moderated a 7000 user yahoo list for Terragen for well over 5 years. I coulnd’t agree more with this post; the proportions are correct. The interesting thing is lurkers. YOu can’t see them but they are there, and every now and then somethng comes up which makes them surface an participate (in ocations like product announcements, new versions sneak-peeks and so on).

  4. Hi,

    I discovered your post… two years later, while searching for information about a certain blog-plugin that someone uses in a WordPress blog to implement a similar function as the one you called “In space nobody can hear you scream”.

    Evidently, if people whose political views (expressed decently and respectfully) annoy the political agenda of a certain blog, such a technical trick can ban them without (them) even noticing it; deceiving them that they participate in dialog, whereas in reality they only take part in a severely biased, censored kind of “pseudo-debate”.

    Please remember that there do exist places in the world (and the web) where decency and freedom of expression are NOT self-evident, and the “problem users” are not always spammers or annoying people. On the contrary, they can often be quite normal, usually polite people, with views that happen to _annoy certain others_.

    The wider social implications of all this are mind-chilling, to say the least. E.g. there already exist (e.g. Greek and British) politicians whose blogs apply heavy censorship, NOT on the basis of banning abusive users, but on the basis of shutting down opinions not helpful to themselves, or censoring unpleasant facts.

    I’m looking for a technical _antidote_ (in WordPress blogging) which will reveal this hideous, hidden “moderation” _immediately_, stopping all the implicit deception.

    So, if you have any information about this wordpress plugin “in space nobody can hear you scream”, as regards WordPress blogs, please let me know.

    Thanks for your attention.

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