This strikes me as more of a difference between what Wikipedia used to call editors and creators.
They found that very, very, few people would actually take the time to create an article. But, once it’s up, it’s very easy to edit it. Hence editors were useful and important, but it was the raw number of creators which was key.
This feels somewhat similar to the distinction between participants and contributors used here. Participants are important they ‘edit’ with their comments. But contributors (the people initiating discussions and creating the material others can comment on) feels more critical.
We try to measure the number of discussions initiated, but not usually the number of members initiating a discussion (unless we see a problem worth investigating).
I’d love to distinguish between:
- Visitors - people that visit but haven’t logged in.
- Lurkers - registered members who visit but don’t participate.
- Active members - registered members who have made a contribution within the past month.
- Former members - registered members who haven’t visited/made a contribution within the past month.
I’d also love to breakdown active members between contributors and participants. Those that comment/create articles and those that only like/vote/share material.