LinkedIn, the first major U.S. social networking site to hold an IPO (May 19th), expanded its U.S. user base 6.7 percent in May to 33.4 million. As I have indicated in pervious posts, I am a huge fan of LinkedIn. However, lately I am definitely witnessing the 90:9:1 principle.
LinkedIn now reports to have more than 100 million registered users worldwide. The last time I wrote about the site, I indicated that great networks are not built overnight and emphasized the need for commitment. I participate on LinkedIn on a regular basis for myself, as well as for a client. This past month, I even took on a new LI challenge and began a discussion group. Nevertheless, thanks to the amount of time I spend on the site, specifically in numerous discussion groups, it has become evident that there is participation inequality, better known in internet culture as the 90:9:1 principle. The term first surfaced in 2006. Simply stated; 1% of people create content, 9% edit or modify that content and 90% view the content without contribution.
As a LinkedIn advocate, I am both a content creator and modifier. More importantly, I am committed. Three factors motivate me:
1.) Thanks to LinkedIn, in addition to engaging and staying connected with people from my pre-Web 2.0 network, I have connected with new people that I most probably would have never met through my Tribe’s limited circle.
2.) LinkedIn is a great site to aggregate information. Over a year ago I learned about QR codes, a new venture I am embarking on, the subject of my next post.
3.) I am very bullish about the future of LinkedIn, now that it has a war chest (cash). It will continue to grow and improve, thus facilitate for me the opportunity to create a virtual enterprise. A virtual enterprise is a network of independent individuals or companies, linked by technology that will share skills, costs and access to one another’s networks/markets. Thanks to their collaborative synergy, they will organize and work together on a for or non-profit objective (e.g., launch a new product or service, a social movement, political campaign, etc.). Once the goal is achieved, the virtual enterprise dissolves. Since the virtual enterprise is more often than not improvised, it can succeed without formally incorporating or establishing a traditional brick & mortar company.
What is your level of participation on LinkedIn?