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Diversity of motives

Another important property of critical mass thresholds is that of diversity between people in terms of their reasons to contribute. For Wikipedia, for example, Pattarawan Phrasarnphanich found widely diverging motives: some work on Wikipedia because it is fun, others because they learn from it, some do it for altruistic reasons, and yet others to give something back to the community. Besides this, means and skills can also vary between visitors.

Diversity allows for peoples personal critical mass thresholds to vary; e.g. the number of users that will make the community an engaging place for them. Which makes it possible to start off with the most willing contributors, and then grow as the application gradually meets the expectation-thresholds of others. A good feature of Wikipedia related to this is that it allows visitors to start out with very small contributions, such as fixing a spelling error.

Next on read-path: Shape of network-effects
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