‘Extreme enthusiasts’ dominate online comments

Participation in online discussion and comment sites is dominated by less than 10 per cent of web users, according to a study published by U.S. consulting company Rubicon.

The study, based on a survy of more than 3,000 web users, found 80 per cent of User-Generated Content (UGC) was created by just nine per cent of users. The remaining 20 per cent of UGC was created by about 65 per cent of users who contributed content only occasionally. Another nine per cent only read user-generated material and 17 per cent ignored it completely.

These findings may disappoint managers of news sites who hope allowing reader participation will generate more interest in the news. However, compared to earlier estimates, this study may signal that user participation on the web is growing. The report also notes that online participation attracts certain population segments – young people in particular – more than others

Full report from Rubicon Consulting (PDF)