Interesting article I stumbled upon: 90-9-1 Theory - Wiki Patterns
In most online communities, 90% of users are lurkers who never contribute, 9% of users contribute a little, and 1% of users account for almost all the action.
I guess you could say that rule of thumb applies to this forum. I don't know what the exact percent breakdown would be but I think the vast majority of registered members are lurkers. Plus there's probably scores of people who read the forum and don't even bother to create an account.
I think I'd be in the 9% who contributes a little. I'm not one the dominant members here. I'm not exactly a mover and shaker here but I do like to contribute where I see appropriate.
Thoughts on this article?
I'm all for encouraging the lurkers to post more but I don't believe people should ever be coerced into posting. I've heard of forums, where you have to post every so often to stay a member. Bad idea in my opinion. If they don't want to post, that's their perogative. I think the best way to encourage lurkers to post is having an open and non-judgemental atmosphere. I've also heard about forums that impose post limits. For example, a member is limited to 10 posts a day. While the idea is to control volume and possibly to prevent people from posting excessively, I'm generally against post limits. The moderators can discourage people from posting meaningless fluff but if someone has something of substance to add, they should be free to do so, and do so frequentlly if they desire.