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A study by Communispace (which, as an online community developer has a horse in the race) says that while big communities necessarily have lots of “eyeballs,”

Results indicate that 86% of the people who log on to private, facilitated communities with 300 to 500 members made contributions: they posted comments, initiated dialogues, participated in chats, brainstormed ideas, shared photos, and more. Only 14% merely logged in to observe, or “lurk.”

By contrast, on public social networking Web sites, blogs, and message boards, this ratio is typically reversed, as the vast majority of site visitors do not contribute. In a typical online forum, for example, just 1% of site visitors contribute, and the other 99% lurk.

The long tail lives!

A different study by Melcrum says that 55% of corporations already have blogs or are planning to within the next 12 months, and 63% plan to be distributing videos on the likes of YouTube. 73% have no plans to use SecondLife. 70% have no guidelines or policies for blogs and other social media, and only 26% were “sure how to monitor what was being said about” them.

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