Via this post on apophenia, she points us to Bradley Horowitz on authorship. Technically it is on stages of participation. The point that jumps out at me is:
The levels in the pyramid represent phases of value creation. As an example take Yahoo! Groups.
- 1% of the user population might start a group (or a thread within a group)
- 10% of the user population might participate actively, and actually author content whether starting a thread or responding to a thread-in-progress
- 100% of the user population benefits from the activities of the above groups (lurkers)
It goes on to point out:
Mostly this is just an observation, and a simple statement: social software sites don’t require 100% active participation to generate great value.
And I agree with him that 100% participation is not a realistic goal, and even our focus on distributed authoring is perhaps pie in the sky. Facts for us don’t point to 10% real authorship so far. It would be interesting to see the real data from Yahoo! Groups!
The Dumpster, a blatant repost from Doc, yet still must at a minimum be in my collection of back links. From the site:
The Dumpster is an interactive online visualization that attempts to depict a slice through the romantic lives of American teenagers. … The project’s graphical tools reveal the astonishing similarities, unique differences, and underlying patterns of these failed relationships, providing both peculiarly analytic and sympathetically intimate perspectives onto the diversity of global romantic pain.
From a visualization and ethnography perspective it is worthy of recording. It would be like if Flash had never experienced Joshua Davis as a leader. Yet like much of Joshua’s work, there is something missing. It is cool, but what did we LEARN? Is it in any way predictive? Interfaces are great, but can we load up our friendly neighborhood neural net and get cranking away on what the opportunties are for the team next week!?!