The 1% rule, also known as the "90-9-1" principle, is a theory that states that in any given online community or social network, only 1% of users create new content, 9% contribute by commenting, voting, or sharing, and the remaining 90% simply consume the content without engaging in any way. This phenomenon is often referred to as the "lurker" effect, where a large portion of the community is passive, while a small subset is responsible for generating the majority of the activity.
This rule has been observed in a variety of online communities, from forums and social networks to wikis and content sharing platforms. It has important implications for community managers and content creators, as they must understand the dynamics of their audience and create content that is engaging enough to encourage more active participation from the passive majority.
In an online forum, for example, the 1% rule suggests that only 1% of members are responsible for creating new topics and discussions, while the majority of members simply read and follow along. This means that the success of a forum depends heavily on the active participation of a small group of members, who must create interesting and relevant content to keep the community engaged and growing. Additionally, community managers must find ways to encourage more members to contribute and participate, by creating incentives and promoting a culture of engagement and collaboration.