I stumbled across a post by Ross Mayfield in which he applies the power law curve to user contribution and it got me thinking about how to facilitating a wider spectrum of participation than mearly creators and consumers. I assume the axis on this diagram could relate to how much a single action contributes and the number of people doing that action. For example the act of visiting a page contributes very little however their are lots of people who do so, while at the other end of the spectrum creating content can be considered a high engagement activity however comparatively less people do this.
This highlights the importance of offering different levels of participation that are inline with the amount of contribution that users are willing to make.
In order to harness user contribution it is important to offer the ability to participate at a level users are willing to make. For example I occasionally feel like contributing to political issues however if my only two options are ticking a box every few years or running for parliament as a full time job then I’m only going to bother doing the first option simply because running for parliament evolves far more effort than than I’m willing to contribute. This is unfortunate because I’m probably willing to contribute slightly more than ticking a box every few every but there isn’t an opportunity to participate that is inline with the amount of contribution that I’m willing to make.
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