Why is the participate web not participate?

So, “in real life”, one often speaks of a Pareto principle (80/20) to distribute the contributors to consumers on the web rule that applies most often is that of the 90-9-1. Otherwise referred to as the 1% rule, this hypothesis, widespread in cyberculture, reflects the fact that participation is extremely uneven in an online community. Thus, on the Internet, less than 1% of the population contributes proactively, 9% participated occasionally and 90% of observers contribute ever.

Yet Internet offers much more possibilities to be contributor than other media… The participative web indeed multiplies initiatives allowing, easily to Internet users to contribute.

Take the example of Wikipedia. Already in June 2005, well before that we are talking about Web 2.0, Jimmy Wales its founders, observed that 50% of all the contributions of the encyclopedia were written by 0.7% of contributors. Conversely, 1.8% of the contributors had written more than 72 per cent of the 612,000 blogs at the time. Today on the French version of the Encyclopaedia is identical: there are 16.297 active contributors (who contributed at least 5 times during the previous month), 709 very active wikipedians (who contributed at least 100 times during the previous month) and 180 administrators for 1.731.041 registered users and 1.464.609 blogs.

On the distribution table of contributions in french Wikipedia by users, found that a single author (Vlaam) wrote 337.612 contributions on the total 40 million or 0.8%! Ten largest french contributors have written to them only more than $ 2 million or 5% of the total.

So what has changed? We have over in addition to tools that enable everyone to speak and yet they are always the same who take! But yesterday, could complain, criticize those who expressed themselves always because it could not replace them; Today, each has the real ability to express themselves, but very few do. I have here the example of Wikipedia but could demonstrate the same with the participatory media and Agoravox or the proportion of inactive twittos or having ever published.

However, I note that the speech can change after training: often the interns cry censorship, complain of not being able to express themselves online through ignorance. But when you show them the tools and especially the methods to do so, they answer: “Yes but we, you have not the time!”

I think that it is indeed one of the keys to the problems: to participate, we must not only tools, networks, it takes time. to express themselves, should not be only a network of listeners, need ideas, and structure them, the sunset on a screen, it takes time! Should better organize his time; Not necessarily be less connected, but it be better (to more efficiently).

The second key of the problem is the knowledge of the tools and methods to know to use effectively.

A third would be may be the willingness to contribute to a collective, community effort. Some 4,000 brave Wikipedians who perform more than 1,000 contributions (i.e. more than 80% of the encyclopedia) devote time, of their time to others, to (r) teach others. But the return of these actions are known to the only community of Wikipedians. These are teachers of modern times but are not paid for by the Ministry of education…

Hey, to conclude on an idea, should we not ask each Professor to broadcast on this encyclopedia and more broadly, could we not suggest to each employee to write on Wikipedia. The first would for the cause, by vocation, the latter to get their ideas, they often strive to impose in other media.