Based on the Cultivating Communities of Practice (Wenger) there there are several types of members:
- core - major contributors, people that very active
- active - normal members
- peripheral - people that are quiet most of the time (passive users)
- outsiders - ocasional visitors
I am mostly interesting into defining a criteria for counting the core members on SO.
What would be a good rule and how do I get the data out? It's essential to be able to measure it weekly, quarterly and yearly.
Note: Any kind of participation is good, there is nothing wrong with any of the categories.
Still, it is important to distinguish between these roles because this would allow to detect behaviour trends before is too late. If you could only the visitors you may stay happy for a while, and discover later that even if the number of visits increased a lot, the number of core contributors vanished and your community if on its way to perish. Knowing the evolution for each of them, enables you to take action when needed.
Imagine how useful it would be to analyse these numbers and compare them across different communities and over time.