The 80/20 Rule in Blogging Communities. This piece from Clay Shirky has been bouncing around the blogosphere for some days – but I hadn’t spotted its significance until today. Most people are referring to “Power Law” from its title Power Law, Weblogs and Community. Part of the thesis, from my original manifesto is that Power Law distribtions (80/20 Rule) are in some way a natural part of all human endeavours. This paper includes statistical evidence and other research demonstrating this behaviour in clustering of hits around given sites in particular blogging communities, and concluding that it is natural and predictable, and further more the wider and freer the choice / access the more pronounced is the effect. Democracy creates inequality if you will – it’s natural, it’s human nature.
Sifry’s blog on this subject is interesting in suggesting that it is possible to hold this conclusion as both true and false, depending on the “scale” at which you view the situation, since there are levels of clustering within the overall statistical average view. Fractality at play here.