My colleagues have taken over the analysis of social participation, but if you read this blog you're most likely still interested. Briefly, here's the 2010 update of the ladder of social participation in the US.
Compared to our previous update, Joiners (social network participants) continue to grow rapidly. The rest of the categories are stable or declining. For the first time, Spectators are down and Inactives are up. The declines are small and data is subject to margins of error, but it's clear that we've at least reached a plateau.
It is too soon to predict that social activity has peaked, but it's clearly taking a breather. The key now is to look, not just at how many people participate, but how frequently -- and more specifically, their interaction with brands.
For more detail, please see posts by Jackie Rousseau-Anderson, our data expert, and Augie Ray, who helps interactive marketers with social technologies. Clients should take a look at the report this data comes from, which includes a global update.