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!