Jakob Nielsen explains that with web 2.0 communities, 90% are lurkers who never contribute, 9% contribute a little, and 1% actively contribute. I wish I knew the secret formula for reversing those statistics. Nielsen mentions a few strategies for improving those stats at the end. One strategy is to take advantage of"read wear," which refers to the natural marks of reading. Online, I believe it means to give more weight or to make more visible content that has more hits. (Thanks to Anne Gentle for the link.)
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