Your understanding is correct. Responding to something does not make you a Contributing user, only Participating. You need to do something like start a discussion, ask a question, or post a document to be a Contributor.
It bears repeating the conceptual framework behind this: increasing levels of personal risk. The more you are take a personal risk, the more engaged you are in the community.
Just watching -- Active, low risk
Putting my name on something (e.g. Like, Comment, Response) -- Participating, medium risk
Adding a net new idea/topic -- Contributing, highest risk (you are putting yourself out there)
Of course, it does sometimes happen that a user puts something really substantial in a response/comment. But even this never happens unless someone is willing to start the discussion in the first place so we reserve Contributing status for people who do that.
>>PS - this plug in rocks!
Thanks!! Glad to hear it is adding value.
Thanks for the info!
On a related note, do discussion replies counted within the total for Discussions listed in the Content section of the CMR or is it ONLY the original Discussion posts themselves?
Only the original Discussion is considered new content.