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The 90–9–1 Rule in Online Engagement



90% of are lurkers who read or observe, 9% of members edit or respond, and 1% of community members create new content.


It’s been a month since I joined Medium. In this past month, I can’t help but kept wonder why some people are “rockstar bloggers” and why others are not. There should be some kind of working system that the rockstars have managed to hack, whether consciously or subconsciously…

My best guess was the Pareto Principle, where I thought 80% of content must come from 20% of the users. But unlike economic productivity, the principle of online content community was governed by the 90–9–1 rule. So here I share my research about what is contribution inequality among the online community known as “90–9–1 rule”, why it exists and what to do about it.


What is it?

Balanced state or the “golden ratio” of internet culture is 90–9–1 (or sometimes 89–10–1).

It is an observation based rule that states 90% of internet users are lurkers who read or observe, 9% of members edit or respond, and 1% of community members create new content.

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