This isn’t exactly a new concept but in case you’re not familiar with it, I thought I should explain it a bit before launching into a diatribe about it. Modern thinking breaks down users in participatory media into three levels. There are different names for each level, but I’ll use Super, Moderate and Casual. Imagine a pyramid.
At the top of the pyramid are your Super Users. These are the people who will scour the web, attend live events and generally spend hours and hours a day devoted to your content. They’re the people who spent days breaking the code that appears before each commercial. They’re the ones who applied countless numerology theories on the numbers 4, 8, 15, 16, 23 and 42. The Super Users are usually fairly small in number. Mostly because not many people have the time it takes to write pages and pages about the intricacies of midi-chlorions.
Just below them, you have your moderate users. They are the ones that read about the intricacies of midi-chlorions and perhaps even post an article about it on Facebook. They are invested enough to care about your project and spend time consuming pieces of it, but not enough to actually add to the mythos on their own. A bigger group than your moderate users, but still not where the biggest part of your views are coming from.
Eventually, you have the base with your Casual Users. They’re the ones that will read that post on Facebook, watch your show and maybe look at your website, but won’t take a real active part in your project.
How these three levels interact and, more importantly, how they translate into income, will be in part two of this.
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