Why creating a community is difficult

I have been harboring the idea to have a community of users on Telegram- the fact that I have an extensive experience in the same. However, I also understand that it would be difficult to push onto an idea that no one knows in the medicine.

Twitter has become quite common and “tweeting” has become a verb. Most users dont realise that it is an advertising network and the “reactions” and visibility is determined by bots and algorithms. Bulk of the user accounts are automated and it represents an extreme example of weaponisation of the Internet. It is true that showcasing the “colleagues” and “spontaneous” hangouts and “grant applications” or “tweetorials” may appear smart but it represents zero learning (or aggregation) value.

I run a large niche community on Telegram and I posted it routinely on some social media. Besides some scammers, a large number of users stay “quiet” and prefer to consume content. This is classical “power law distribution” (which means that the level of inequality gets more drastic as you look at smaller subsets of users).

Here’s something interesting:

Inequalities are also found on Wikipedia, where more than 99% of users are lurkers. According to Wikipedia’s “about” page, it has only 68,000 active contributors, which is 0.2% of the 32 million unique visitors it has in the U.S. alone. Wikipedia’s most active 1,000 people — 0.003% of its users — contribute about two-thirds of the site’s edits. Wikipedia is thus even more skewed than blogs, with a 99.8–0.2–0.003 rule.

Participation inequality exists in many places on the web. A quick glance at Amazon.com, for example, showed that the site had sold thousands of copies of a book that had only 12 reviews, meaning that less than 1% of customers contribute reviews. Furthermore, at the time I wrote this, 167,113 of Amazon’s book reviews were contributed by just a few “top-100” reviewers; the most prolific reviewer had written 12,423 reviews. How anybody can write that many reviews — let alone read that many books — is beyond me, but it’s a classic example of participation inequality.

Twitter is another example. Therefore, it depends on the most active users pushing through content (and joint boards/paper discussions), that fails to actually deliver the value if you are just following the hashtags. A better way to interact is Telegram; I am hoping that they push through some promised updates.

One thought on “Why creating a community is difficult

  1. ‘…but it represents zero learning (or aggregation) value.’ – well said! Two weeks since I deleted my Twitter account. It felt like I was staying over informed. The adjustment has been that I have had to look for news aggregators than passively picking up news/events on Twitter. But life is much quieter, much less distracted.


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