...since the participation rate is so low.
Then might as well evaporate Dharma Wheel, where only 1% ? of members participate.
That's not the point I was trying to make, Will.
Those who read DW but never (or rarely) post are still making good use of it. Those who signed up and left shortly afterwards but are still on the books also (we hope) gained something.
However, when a "poll of DW members" comes up with (say) 80% in favour it looks impressive but the group in favour is not 80% of members. It's not even 80% of active
members (0.8% of members if your 1% figure is correct). It's 80% of the active members who are interested enough in that particular topic to contribute a response
to a question posed in this particular way.
If the percentage of threads I participate in is typical of an "active member", any particular topic is only attracting responses from 10% of the active members, so the approval rating is 80% of 10% of 1% - even if polls attract as many responders as other threads. That's 0.08% of members, such a small number that it is highly unlikely to reflect members' opinions.
You might say that applies to normal threads as well, but it doesn't. Why not? Because we still have a participation rate of 10% of 1% but we participate as individuals and no-one is even tempted to say "80% of DW members approve of this." Rather, we say, "Kim thinks this and Will thinks that and Simon thinks they are both wrong."
Your 1% figure is a guess and so are my figures. Perhaps an admin could check their validity?