Pyramid of Participation

If you work in the online/social space, chances are you been exposed to the Forrester engagement ladder. Using the idea behind the ladder, I wondered how the various different social technologies out there would stack up. Generally speaking, the more people who participate in the technology, the lower down in the pyramid it goes. Conversely, the fewer people participate, the higher in the pyramid it should go. Blogging was a tough one because even though there are 100s of millions of “blogs” in circulation, I’d guess that less than 10 million of them are active and that blogging is a more participatory activity than saving to a social news site or having a Tumblr account.

At the Radar DDB (East) office we’ve been kicking this idea around for a week or so and debating where various pieces should go – should Tumblr/Posterous be further up, above social news and book marking? Does the second tier of social networks have more users than Twitter? How many Posterous accounts are there? What do you think of the methodology?

Take a look and lets debate – I think its an interesting planning tool to know what level of participation we’re requiring from our target audiences on the various different networks.

Social Media Pyramid of Participation @edlee

6 Responses to Pyramid of Participation

  1. Does this speak to engagement or popularity? Based on this, it seems more like the latter.

  2. Ed Lee says:

    it’s neither – its based on how easy it is to use and what barriers to participation are there? in this case, i’ve used “popularity” as a proxy for ease of participation.

  3. Ged Carroll says:

    I’d have foursquare just above twitter, barriers to use are pretty low and tumblr above social bookmarking alongside posterous if you put it up there

    • Ed Lee says:

      hey Ged – i’d actually disagree on that one. 4sq’s main barrier to entry is that you need to want to broad (or narrow, depending on your network) cast your location to many people – especially if you tie to your twitter account.

      to me, tumblr and posterous are the same service, but it is a good call to switch blogging-lite services with social news/bookmarking.

  4. […] by Technorati – of which 10m or so are probably legitimate (not spam) and active. There are 160m Twitter microblogs and about 6m tumblr accounts – also […]

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