Dan Thornton looks at how the Pareto Principle (that 80 per cent of the effects come from 20 per cent of the causes) plays out on social media and new media platforms.
“Internet access gives everyone the ability to self-publish – it doesn’t mean everyone will. Or entitle everyone to be able to make a good living out of it,” writes Thornton, who references Jakob Nielsen’s suggestion that in online communities 90 per cent of users never contribute; 9 per cent contribute a little; and 1 per cent a lot.
“[A] small number of people can get Wikipedia over 55 million U.S. visitors in a year, or create the fact that 20 hours of video are uploaded every minute (…) It doesn’t mean it’s all popular, or high quality.
“It just means that most of mainstream media is likely to end up covered in content as if it went out in a desert sandstorm – and successful businesses need to figure out how to engage and build on that 1 per cent or 20 per cent which creates the value for everyone else.”