Ross Mayfield: Power Law of Participation

Worth reading: Power Law of Participation

Digg is the archetype for low threshold participation. Simply Favorite something you find of interest, a one click action. You don’t even have to log in to contribute value, you have Permission to Participate. Del.icio.us taps both personal and social incentives for participation through the low threshold activity of tagging. Remembering the URL is the hardest part, and you have to establish an identity in the system. Commenting requires such identity for sake of spam these days and is an under-developed area. Subscribing requires a commitement of sustained attention which greatly surpasses reading alone. Sharing is the principal activity in these communities, but much of it occurs out of band (email still lives). We Network not only to connect, but leverage the social network as a filter to fend off information overload. Some of us Write, as in blog, and some of us even have conversations. But these are all activities that can remain peripheral to community. To Refactor, Collaborate, Moderate and Lead requires a different level of engagement — which makes up the core of a community.

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