Every online community has their fair share of lurkers or people who show up but don't actively participate, just like in any classroom there are some who raise their hands to answer questions and some who wouldn't contribute unless called upon.

I'm seeking examples, analytics, and research on online communities that demonstrate participation rates or percentages.

  • 2
    Do you know the 1% rule or the Pareto principle? Are these things you look for?
    – Zerotime
    Commented Jan 16, 2016 at 16:29
  • 1
    Though while you can define "registered but never posted" as a definite lurker, it's going to be harder to count unregistered users - unless you just count unregistered visitors from each unique IP as one.
    – ChrisF
    Commented Apr 13, 2016 at 19:26
  • 3
    This isn't participation rate, but Stack Exchange just published survival rates of new users on Stack Overflow for the previous year: meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/321084/…
    – Andy
    Commented Apr 16, 2016 at 1:56
  • How do you define "actively participating"? Seems to me there will be several degrees of this...
    – eirikdaude
    Commented Apr 19, 2016 at 8:26

1 Answer 1


Some research have been done by the Community Roundtable.

The 90–9–1 rule used to be famous:

  • 90 percent are lurkers
  • 9 percent are partially engaged (contribute from time to time)
  • 1 percent are heavy contributors

Reality seems to be more like 55–25–20 these days.

See details on this article

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