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Topics: Communications Management, PM in Academia, PMI Standards
Does the 80/20 rule apply to this forum?



It seems 20% of the people on this forum (and in the wider PM community) deliver 80% of its content. More like 5% people producing 95% content. In that case, how do we know that our views and expertise aren't in the minority?
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Sante -

I think that's the case with most virtual and real communities. When I was one of the Directors for the PMI Lakeshore Chapter, we found the same behavior present there - fewer than 10% of the membership were active participants.

I'd categorize the membership of most virtual communities into five broad categories:

1. Absent - they are the members who never read or contribute. This is your 80+%.
2. Lurkers - they are the members who regularly read but never contribute. This is likely the next biggest category.
3. Responders - they read & respond but rarely create new content. I'd put myself into that category as I focus my creative energies on content for my own blog.
4. Contributers - they read, respond & create content. This is likely 1% or fewer.

If we assume that the drive to be in one of these groups is independent of expertise within our profession, then so long as the aggregation of #3 and #4 is a statistically relevant sample of the total population, we are unlikely to miss out on insights!

Kiron
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1 reply by Sante Vergini
Dec 12, 2017 6:46 AM
Sante Vergini
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Yes Kiron, if it's a statistically relevant sample.



Your observation is accurate; point 6 of the user guideline does mention this is user generated content and views are personal. I'm sure there are ways to promote this forum (just some crude ideas below):
* Email blast to members encouraging users to contribute
* More visible banner on PMI parent website
* Partner with local chapters to promote pm.com
* Reorganize the forum categories (those like the PI ones have far less traffic than PM central)
* Deep link "recent questions" banner on PMI and LinkedIn

/sd
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1 reply by Sante Vergini
Dec 12, 2017 6:51 AM
Sante Vergini
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There's some good suggestions there Sromon. Anything that attracts and engages this majority.



Dec 12, 2017 6:18 AM
Replying to Kiron Bondale
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Sante -

I think that's the case with most virtual and real communities. When I was one of the Directors for the PMI Lakeshore Chapter, we found the same behavior present there - fewer than 10% of the membership were active participants.

I'd categorize the membership of most virtual communities into five broad categories:

1. Absent - they are the members who never read or contribute. This is your 80+%.
2. Lurkers - they are the members who regularly read but never contribute. This is likely the next biggest category.
3. Responders - they read & respond but rarely create new content. I'd put myself into that category as I focus my creative energies on content for my own blog.
4. Contributers - they read, respond & create content. This is likely 1% or fewer.

If we assume that the drive to be in one of these groups is independent of expertise within our profession, then so long as the aggregation of #3 and #4 is a statistically relevant sample of the total population, we are unlikely to miss out on insights!

Kiron
Yes Kiron, if it's a statistically relevant sample.



Dec 12, 2017 6:28 AM
Replying to Sromon Das
...
Your observation is accurate; point 6 of the user guideline does mention this is user generated content and views are personal. I'm sure there are ways to promote this forum (just some crude ideas below):
* Email blast to members encouraging users to contribute
* More visible banner on PMI parent website
* Partner with local chapters to promote pm.com
* Reorganize the forum categories (those like the PI ones have far less traffic than PM central)
* Deep link "recent questions" banner on PMI and LinkedIn

/sd
There's some good suggestions there Sromon. Anything that attracts and engages this majority.



Sante, I'd say this is pretty typical of forums/communities. There are those that wish to post, promote the community, be conversational, engage, etc. Then there are those who wish to just simply consume; learn from the discussions, utilize the templates, read the articles, etc.
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1 reply by Sante Vergini
Dec 12, 2017 2:38 PM
Sante Vergini
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Andrew, I would love to hear from the silent majority.



I feel the information and comments here are good. We just need to keep the forum active and more will jump in when they feel comfortable. The regulars here provide some good content and feedback.



Sante,

Interesting observation. I think you 95% / 5% is optimistic.

Is it surprising? No
In most community virtual or not the level of involvement is low.
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1 reply by Sante Vergini
Dec 12, 2017 2:40 PM
Sante Vergini
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Vincent, nothing surprises me :-)



I'd say that most of the members are busy people. With multiple projects at hand, they read what comes up. Not always replying to everything posted, they prioritize what they do.
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1 reply by Sante Vergini
Dec 12, 2017 2:43 PM
Sante Vergini
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Paul, probably so, it would be nice to find a way to engage them more. In one of my papers I was going to quote a poll result from this website, but then I thought that if only the very active members participate, and by active these individuals are usually at the top of their field, I am not sure this is representative of the PM population.



I'm not sure where I fit in the categories, but I do find that there are times when I'm first to respond, and times when there are so many responses, already, that I either have nothing to add or I feel that what I have to add would just get lost. That's not a bad thing.

I wouldn't complain if there was an FAQ section for some of the questions that keep coming up. I understand why they keep coming up - who goes through more than two pages of questions to see if someone else has already asked it?
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1 reply by Sante Vergini
Dec 12, 2017 2:46 PM
Sante Vergini
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Aaron, the issue with FAQ is people wording questions slightly differently, some would interpret this to mean the same thing, and others something different. And who would moderate such a beast? ;-) But I am with you on the dynamics of posting.



It is such a universal principle and applied to any and every situation. The only way is to grow the community so that the meaningful contributors are so many that the whole community is enriched.
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1 reply by Sante Vergini
Dec 12, 2017 2:51 PM
Sante Vergini
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Hirdesh, using the same model however would produce the same results even if the community grew. I feel the only way to "enrich" the content is to somehow engage the silent majority.
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