Bradley Horowitz on Authorship – 10%?

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:

Bradleyhorowitzpyramid 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!