Online Communities – Participation Inequality

Nielsen (2006)

A study from 2006 outlines participation statistics for online communities. Dr. Jakob Nielsen (2006) found that:

“In most online communities, 90% of users are lurkers who never contribute, 9% of users contribute a little, and 1% of users account for almost all the action”.

Would this be the case for online hockey fan communities?

From my experience, there are a small handful of hockey blogs that publish regular posts. Across these blogs, there are numerous comments left by readers and other bloggers to contribute to the ideas of the original posting.

Nielsen (2006) found that blog sites have even worse participation inequality and that the rule is closer to 95-5-0.1.

It would help to know statistics from hockey blog sites compare to Dr. Nielsen’s findings. Some data could provide further insight into the knowledge fans acquire and if in fact it is influenced by such a small number of people in the online community. The challenge would be to find the number of unique hits/reads a post gets that are from legitimate readers. Some blogs do require users to have an account before posting comments, while others rely on email addresses. So far, I haven’t been able to find other research papers that cover a similar issue.

Nielsen, J. (2006, October 9). Participation Inequality: Encouraging More Users to Contribute. Alertbox. Retrieved from www.useit.com/alertbox/participation_inequality.html

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