Rewarding community participation is imperative to the longevity of any online community.  Most online communities follow the 90:9:1 principle, which according to Wikipedia:

The "90–9–1" … states that 1% of people create content, 9% edit or modify that content, and 90% view the content without contributing.


So to break this down into "lamens terms", for every batch of 7,843,113 users, you have:

  • 7,058,801.7 users who view (.7 indicates right eye is half-shut)
  • 705,880.17 users who modify / edit content (.17 indicates mouse only interaction)
  • 78,431.13 users who actually create content (.13 indicates liberal lorem ipsum usage)


Now that that's cleared up, standard interpretations and actions are pretty straight forward and universal: increase content creators.  If you fall below the 1% mark for creators....then theoretically your community may be being starved for content.  Conversely, having too many creators is rarely a problem as long as they are complementary.  Rewards for community participation play a key role in achieving this goal at scale, and should be leveraged by community managers who wish to keep pace with their spiking growth trends.  In fact, I've been working with laurie martin on some new ways to reward our customers in the Jive Community … so stay tuned!


But back to the question at hand,

What do you do to reward participation in your online community?


P.S.  I may have found the wrong definition for "lamens terms". =)


Previous Days of Conversation:

Day 8:  What movie quote best represents the state of your social business?

Day 7: What is next on your social business To-Do list?

Day 6: Who is your Social Santa?

Day 5: Where is your social business beard?

Day 4: What social traditions do you participate in during the holiday season?

Day 3: How social are you at your company during the holidays?

Day 2: How has your social business platform helped your company "tighten the belt"?

Day 1:  Why did you choose your social business platform?

Introducing the 12 Days of Conversations ...