Pareto (was Re: [squeak-dev] Release blues?)

Bert Freudenberg bert at
Wed Apr 21 20:22:46 UTC 2010

On 21.04.2010, at 20:21, Casey Ransberger wrote:
> Comments inline.
> On Tue, Apr 20, 2010 at 7:09 AM, Bert Freudenberg <bert at> wrote:
> <snip />
>> I read a report a while ago (my google-fu is not strong enough to find it though) that it is quite normal in open-source projects to have very few very active contributors and many more less active contributors. That's the Pareto principle at work. So I'm not desperate at all :)
> It would seem that this rule extends beyond "open source software" all the way to "user generated content." At Snapvine we saw something like the Pareto ratio between producers/heavy users and consumers/casual users of our VOIP content creation system. I would bet money that e.g. YouTube has had a similar experience.
> I really wonder about where that number really comes from:)

It's a general principle of self-organized groups. Excellent talk here:

(and that might be where I remembered the commit statistics from)

The talk also explains why removing hurdles to contributing is paramount, so that's why this is important:

>> I am, however, interested in what others perceive to be obstacles to contributing, so thank you very much for starting this survey!

- Bert -

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