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YouTube versus WordPress (or, Participation stats, extremely credible)

Not long ago we were discussing the (very) small percentage of participants that actually uploaded content in “user-generated content” sites such as YouTube.

Last July 2nd, the people at WordPress central wrote a blog post re the stats for June. They give food for thought.

  • 122 thousand blogs were created.
  • 135 thousand new users joined.
  • 4,039 support requests.
  • 1.7 million posts and 687 thousand new pages.
  • 2.5 million comments.
  • 28.2 million spam comments blocked.
  • 2.2 million logins.
  • 240.8 million pageviews on WordPress.com, and another 71 million on self-hosted blogs.

Here are a few things we haven’t talked about before:

  • About 13% of our pageviews are on mapped domains.
  • After English the top languages are Spanish, Turkish, Brazilian Portuguese, Italian, and Indonesian.
  • About 29% of traffic is to people’s home pages.

There’s a lot to learn here, but how about these two things:

– The ratio of new posts to comments (1,7 million / 2,5 millions) is preposterous. It means that for every post that gets a couple of comments (and please remember that author replies are comments) there’s the sound of one hand clapping in an enormous number of blog posts.

– The ratio of visits to comments (241 millions / 2,5 millions) is egregious. But, mind you, it is actually very close to the 1% of participation that YouTube registers.

One can only guess what would happen if one did a bit of classic statistic treatment and cut off the extremes (the very few extremes that skew the averages).

The lessons? I don’t know :-), and I’d appreciate opinions. One may be that the “rule of 1%” is real. Somewhere recently I read about it, but I can’t find the source. It observed that in any large group, the people who took the trouble of getting things done and pushing are more or less one per cent. Ceteris paribus, since exceptions abound. But YouTube is no special case.


4 comentarios en “YouTube versus WordPress (or, Participation stats, extremely credible)

  1. Miguel – The stats from WordPress do not come as a surprise. The ratio of posts to comments suggest that you’d get a handful of posts with comments in the hundreds/tens, a mid-range with a few comments and a long tail with none at all.

    Ross Mayfield may be one source for the law of 1% . The Forrester Social Technographics data is also revealing (though it puts the number of “creators” at around the 13% mark if memory serves).

    The lessons are pretty simple – just because people can blog (or podcast or create videos) does not mean that they will – in fact, most of them won’t. In an environment like the internet with 1 billion potential creators this doesn’t matter (1% is still 10 million people – the size of a respectable nation state). In smaller populations (e.g. within organisations), laissez-faire or swarm forms of blogging, etc may not scale down.

    At the same time, commenting, linking or otherwise discussing stuff is still a legitimate activity that fuels the co-creative process. Focusing on the few that write, podcast, or youtube offers a lopsided view of the creative ecology (see Mark Earls’ “Herd” for some interesting thoughts on this).

    Publicado por Matt Moore | julio 8, 2007, 3:48 am
  2. Absolutely agree :).

    Publicado por Miguel | julio 9, 2007, 7:08 am
  3. Indeed – very interesting – I was moved by these figures as well.

    Yes – we can’t obssess over stats, but we can’t afford to ignore them – strength of community, where it is in its lifecycle – I’m sure we can find these moments in metrics (hey – you were the one who got me into it!).

    Nielsen produced the 1,9,90 rule: 1% regularly contribute, 9% infrequently, 90% never. It’s in one of his alerts; I can find it if you liek. Useful?

    Publicado por Ed | julio 9, 2007, 10:27 am
  4. Hi Ed. I admit to reading your post :-). And I confess to some professional deformation re statistics :-D.

    Yes, please, if you can find the Nielsen quote I’d appreciate it. I wish I had a solid, reasoned foundation for that insight and not just the shared impression.

    BTW, I’ve been crunching numbers at Macuarium again. More on that soon.

    Publicado por Miguel | julio 10, 2007, 8:25 am


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