If you spend any time at all talking about online communities, you’re bound to stumble across the 90-9-1 Principle. The idea is simple: In social groups, some people actively participate more than others. Researcher Jakob Nielsen calls this “Participation Inequality“. 

These three groups make up an ecosystem, of sorts. Pulling on one group affects the distribution of the other. Of course, it’s typically not possible to change the distribution in significant ways, as the more people added into one group directly drives the growth of the other two groups, maintaining something close to a 90-9-1 split. Social participation tends to follow a 90-9-1 rule where: