Wednesday, February 07, 2007

De-Lurking the 95

When I used to run a technology company I became aware of the Pareto Principle or the 80/20 rule. Roughly 20% of our customers accounted for 80% of our sales. I have met business people who take this to be a high principle of metaphysics on par with the Yin/Yang Principle.

In the general spirit of the times we are experiencing an accelerated rate of change in these participation inequalities. Computer programmers have noticed that there is a 90/10 rule in which 90% of the time required to execute a program is taken up by about 10% of the code. A more exaggerated ratio is exemplified by Wikipedia of which 99.8% is written by 0.2% of its users.

Most bloggers have access to visitor tracking data so they can see how many visitors they've had on a particular day and from which part of the world their readers are accessing their blogs. I have some regular readers that occasionally leave comments but I have many more who never do. It is said that 95% of blog readers are so-called lurkers. These people read but never leave comments. Nearly 5% of blog readers occasionally leave comments and 0.1% of blog readers regularly leave comments.

I regularly read several blogs and I occasionally leave comments on a few of them. One of the bloggers I read asked why she had so many readers who never left comments. She wondered if they had a hatecrush on her and encouraged them to respond. The result was that many more of her readers left a comment. I'd like to do the same. So to those readers from Brooklyn and Barcelona, Melbourne and Mimico as well as all of you readers in Toronto I encourage you to de-lurk and let me know what you're thinking even if it's to tell me why you don't usually leave a comment.


the slackmistress said...

C'mon, everyone, all the cool kids are doing it.

I wasn't a lurker, as this is the first time I'm here. I'm terrible with my blogreading - I have a endecy not to read and then consume everything over the span of a couple of hours (binge reading?) However I always, always try to comment.

So there.

Anonymous said...

I usually don't leave comments, but today I will say: ASTRONAUT LOVE TRIANGLE.


Ever Since I was a boy I wanted to grow up and be an astronaut, involved in an ASTRONAUT LOVE TRIANGLE

Anonymous said...

Just shy I guess. I don't have a blog account so I wasn't sure about leaving an anonymous comment.

I like the new design.

Cathy said...

I don't leave comments on your blog because I usually critique them in person. :) LU

Anonymous said...

I post all of my comments directly to Cathy...including my concerns that you have too much time on your hands.

JakeJakob said...

We seem to be close to the anticipated percentages but only because I had ask people to comment. Slackmistress was kind enough to comment after I finally stopped lurking on her site and left a comment myself.

Perhaps people rarely post here because I tend to write about impersonal subjects, rarely discussing my personal life.

But I do see a pattern developing here. It seems most of my readers aren't bloggers themselves which might explain the reticence to post. But there's no need to be shy. Keep it coming, because I really enjoy feedback even if it's from stalking girlfriends :-), about tangential space fetishes or concern for my time mis-allocations.