The Wizards of Buzz
In most social networks, a very small number of people actually set the agenda and drive the discussion. Every discussion board I’ve found online operates much the same way. Although there may be thousands of people visiting and reading the forum on a regular basis, a handful of people are responsible for the majority of posts, and end up setting the tone and agenda of the conversations.
The Wall Street Journal recently tackled this subject in a well-done article titled The Wizards of Buzz. For example, of the 300,000 registered users of Digg.com, just 30 users are responsible for one-third of the content that ends up on Digg’s home page.
Those 30 people, clearly, have incredible power.
The Journal story does a nice job profiling the power these users (at Digg and nearly every social network online) gain and leverage their power, and how others try to influence them.
(links to the WSJ story require a subscription, but you can also read a free copy here).