Brad Horowitz at Yahoo jumps into blogging with a well-lauded post on “creators, synthesizers, consumers” and the 1:10:100 ratio between them. Although nicely written, bloggers are a bit too lathered up about the theory, giving Brad first mover credit for making sense of user generated content and how it scales. I can’t find the citation right now but i could have sworn that Will Wright has been saying this for years with close to the same ratio.
Anyhoo, i had a similar theory at Linden Lab but it was 1% creators, 4% customizers, 90% personalizers (of course that’s based upon product crossing over to mass market – right now Second Life is still very creator/customizer heavy). My definitions are:
Creators build from wireframe
Customizers take pieces, widgets, model kits and build something out of them – they take something from a creator and make it different
Personalizers slap their name on it or change its color – something to make it their own. I don’t like “consumers” because inherently everyone is a personalizer (they want something unique to them), it’s just a question of whether they want to put any work into it or would rather have it done without their participation.