Sean O'Driscoll has a great post critiquing a recent Reuters article about allegedly low participation rates in Web 2.0 communities.
Sean outlines what he refers to as the thick contributors (video contributors, for example) vs the thin contributors (taggers, voters, etc). I couldn't agree more with his assessment.
Partly, we in this community space online are partly to blame. Not having the proper tools or consistent measurements in place all these years leads in part to the singular, and perhaps inflated, value of thick contributors. Don't get me wrong, the participation of these contributors is crucial to a healthy and vibrant community. However, I would also assert that the contributions of the so called thin contributor is just as important, if not more so.
Thankfully, the technology and the measurements are catching up to the social norms. With tagging becoming an integral part of our new blog and forum solutions, in addition to the introduction of xClaims, there will be even more ways for people to participate. Think of it as broadening the breadth of participation at all different levels of engagement and contribution.
(originally xposted on my beta blog)
"You know with love come strange currencies" R.E.M -- Strange Currencies (since thinking about this post,