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Document 360: #1 Knowledge Base Software

Converting Lurkers into Contributors in Online Communities -- Nielsen's 90-9-1 Rule

by Tom Johnson on Aug 20, 2009 •
categories: web-design

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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About Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson

I'm a technical writer based in the San Francisco Bay area. In this blog, I write about topics related to technical writing and communication — such as software documentation, API documentation, visual communication, information architecture, writing techniques, plain language, tech comm careers, and more. Check out simplifying complexity and API documentation for some deep dives into these topics. If you're a technical writer and want to keep on top of the latest trends in the field, be sure to subscribe to email updates. You can also learn more about me or contact me.

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