The Rule of 10’s Makes the Internet an Early Adopter Amplifier
Posted by Bob Warfield on July 1, 2008
There is a rule of 10’s at work with participation on the Internet. If we have a community of 100, it works like this:
1 user creates new content: A blog post or a Wiki page, for example.
10x that, or 10 users, interact with the content: They leave a comment, for example, or edit the Wiki page.
100x that, or 100 users, read the content.
The moral of that story is that very few of the participants actually produce all the value. About 10% in fact, and of those, only 10% (or 1%) total, are creating the fabric on which we all depend. The content, in other words.
Don Dodge calls this the Social Pyramid. I’ve seen it written about in many other places and even derived the numbers for myself from data on communities I’m attached to.
Interesting stuff, but what’s my point?
Flash forward to Louis Gray’s post about the rapid adoption of FriendFeed in his readership. Apparently, it’s reached a point where 78% of his comments come via FriendFeed. At the same time, we read Scoble is declaring blogging comments dead for similar reasons. (Hmmm, don’t see a way to Trackback for Scoble, that has other interesting ramifications, but it’s off topic.)
I’m struck by the relationship of the rapid uptake of FriendFeed and the Social Pyramid. I have to conclude that not only are the very few, the 10%, doing all the work, but that they are also Early Adopters. How else to explain that uptake for Louis?
For the marketing savvy out there, that would tend to imply that you need to invest in the new new things like Twitter and FriendFeed well before they become mainstream if you want to reap the benefits of lots of buzz on the Internet. For others, it is interesting just how much the Internet empowers the Early Adopter crowd. Part of it stems from the fact that they seem to be the one most willing to vote.