I just followed a link from the Church of the Customer Blog to a movie on YouTube, which is currently highly popular. It had 9 million views on Friday, when the post was written – now it has 12 million. That is an amazingly quick growing number, if anything. But looking at the rest of the numbers, I started thinking about the numbers of participation.

  • The video has been viewed 12 Million times.
  • 18245 people put it into their favourites, i.e. found it somewhat remarkable
  • 9340 people bothered to rate it, i.e. even forming an opinion on it
  • 2566 people even went through the effort of writing a comment (and some are just very short!)

These are amazing figures. The number of views in general, but also the number of comments. Heck, it’s a video about a guy doing dance moves to songs of about 20 years of pop&rock history – everyone will have done or seen a couple of these! In theory, there could be 12 million comments.

But of course, there are not that many. Because for any given subject, you will have a small, active audience, and a large, passive audience.

Hence this is one way of getting guestimates of „response rates“ on the web. Other than just responses via comments – because these always existed on many different sites.
I can’t think of too many other sites, where stats on viewings and following responses (favourites, ratings) are that readily available.

In this case, only 0,022% of the 12 million felt like leaving a comment. Nevermind the fact that there are almost 2600 comments for that one post, which is a huge number, the participation is relatively minimal. Or so it seems at first. But maybe this is just a very „normal“ number?

(Mind you, if we speak in marketing terms: there isn’t an offer nor an incentive attached to participating…)