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In Internet slang, “one percenter” refers to the estimated 1% of Web users who take proactive leadership roles in a Web community. Researchers at AT&T and other organizations have found this level of participation to be somewhat consistent across different surveys.
Based on the “one percenter rule,” as much as 90% of Web users are passive users. Think of a user group, a Facebook page or a forum. Among registered users of such site, 90% will browse content without making comments or otherwise participating, 9% will actively participate (e.g., posting comments, making announcements, etc.) and the remaining 1% will do the actual maintenance and administration of the site.
The one-percenter rule makes sense intuitively in that there is usually only one person who does the work of administering a website or a social media community page. By practical application of the one-percenter rule, that would mean that, for 100 users, a single person would administer a page for up to 99 other users, but on top of that, another administrative leader may be added. This rule is not a hard-and-fast rule, but a kind of theoretical rule based on surveys of Web activity. It is similar to other kinds of participation theories in the “meatspace” or the physical world.