Elatable | Bradley Horowitz » Creators, Synthesizers, and Consumers
He’s talking about Yahoo groups but I suspect a similar thing applies in Flickr. Or for that matter on the Classroom Displays Blog

* 1% of the user population might start a group (or a thread within a group)
* 10% of the user population might participate actively, and actually author content whether starting a thread or responding to a thread-in-progress
* 100% of the user population benefits from the activities of the above groups (lurkers)

He goes on to say

The hurdles that users cross as they transition from lurkers to synthesizers to creators are also filters that can eliminate noise from signal. Another point is that the levels of the pyramid are containing – the creators are also consumers.

This stuff is really important for me or at least it will be when I start on my Validation and Defence.
Then I read the comments and find a track back to Greg Yardley saying this:

It’s telling that the social media Yahoo’s bought doesn’t fit Horowitz’s own pyramid – del.icio.us and Flickr don’t demand that participants create, but they’re designed to encourage creation at rates far higher than one in one hundred or even one in ten. There’s no huge body of del.icio.us users out there that browse around the service but don’t have accounts – if you ‘get’ del.icio.us you’ll create an account and add bookmarks. Flickr browsers are also disproportionately Flickr account holders and Flickr community contributors, compared to the users of bigger services – otherwise, what’s the point?

Now I wonder if he’s right about the Flickr browsers. Many of The Classroom Displays group photos get 50-150 hits, but there are only 33 members in the group. I wonder if the others are all Flickr users just browsing groups or if some of them are people who’ve found Flickr a good source of images without getting involved. Certainly the images that I’ve linked to on the Classroom Displays Blog all seem to get far more views, probably because it comes up in google searches better than Flickr images.


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