A friend of mine posted a link to this article in Facebook and although it dates back to 2006, I think it provides quite interesting data. In particular, it says user participation follows a 90-9-1 rule:
- 90% of users are lurkers (i.e., read or observe, but don’t contribute).
- 9% of users contribute from time to time, but other priorities dominate their time.
- 1% of users participate a lot and account for most contributions
Jakob Nielsen also presents the downsides of this situation and makes some recommendations on how to better equalize user participation. It is definitely worth reading!