Let’s take the 90–9–1 rule for web users but focus on the contributors and creators, the 9% and 1% respectively.
Contributors can be defined as either passive or active.
These users make up the bulk of the Internet. They retweet and reblog. They look for other people to share content so they can reexpress it without taking full responsibility for the original post. As they say, retweets are endorsements.
Note: A reblog on Tumblr means more than a Retweet. A tumblr page is like a journal or scrapbook. It’s more personal than a Twitter account. The Twitter feed is a non-stop barrage of noise. Unless you’re a celebrity or influencer, no one cares for your shit.
These people curate the web and discover stuff that other people like but they don’t necessarily add any of their own value to what they share. A typical Tweet from an active user includes the title of an article with a link.
These people are the content suppliers. They not only look for interesting things and add their two cents before passing it off but they also provide their own original content. Creators can be bloggers, writers, musicians, painters, and other artists who want people to share their work.
The easiest way to participate online is to curate content to show others what inspires you or what you’re thinking about. It’s much harder and much riskier to formulate your own opinion and stake your claim. It’s also the loneliest, especially when cat photo shares get more engagement. But the payoff to sharing your work is that you own it and deserve all the credit.
90% of Internet users do nothing else but lurk, scanning feeds like a voyeur. But the good news is that networks like Instagram and Snapchat are influencing people to make their own content. Billions more people are going to join the Internet in the next few years and they’re going to want to be heard. The users that can discover content, mash it up, and create their own will continue to stand out. Creativity always gets the credit it deserves.
“Write it. Shoot it. Publish it. Crochet it, sauté it, whatever, make.” — Joss Whedon