The 95-5-0.1 rule

On my other blog CommsWatch, a few weeks ago I did a posting titled “Who are the users generating content?” In that posting, I stated:

” … most Net users are still overwhelmingly consumers rather than producers – although this is obviously changing. My website and two weblogs between them average around 3,000 visitors a day but typically the comments posted to the blogs average a mere one a day. Over the time I have been blogging, I have made a total of 2,823 postings but, over the same period, the number of comments posted has only been 667. That is an average of only one comment for every four or so postings.”

It seems that my experience is actually typical of the Net. In this article, it points out that for online communities as a whole:

“User participation often more or less follows a 90-9-1 rule:

  • 90% of users are lurkers (i.e., read or observe, but don’t contribute).
  • 9% of users contribute from time to time, but other priorities dominate their time.
  • 1% of users participate a lot and account for most contributions.”

The article goes on to argue:

“There are about 1.1 billion Internet users, yet only 55 million users (5%) have weblogs according to Technorati. Worse, there are only 1.6 million postings per day; because some people post multiple times per day, only 0.1% of users post daily. Blogs have even worse participation inequality than is evident in the 90-9-1 rule that characterizes most online communities. With blogs, the rule is more like 95-5-0.1.”

Please don’t feel obliged to comment!


  • funkypancake

    hi roger
    this has cheered me up. i’m about to post my 10,000th post next Monday and was just looking at my stats.
    i’ve got about 5,000 comments. i think that must come from my blatant ignorance and bad spelling meaning more people are compelled to comment !
    Your articles are usually nicely self contained and don’t require clarification etc.
    Although i do wonder about blog comments sometimes, especially the ones that want to start arguments. it’s a bit like wandering in to someone’s garden and shouting at them for the state of their lawn.
    (actually our neighbour shouted at us the other day for turning round in his drive, so perhaps the analogy isn’t too bad)
    keep up the good work !

  • Mavis

    Sometimes we have nothing to say, sometimes we are on holiday, sometimes we are angry and sometimes we are happy and sometimes we just don’t have the time.