What type of forum user are you?


(AstonJ) #1

@codinghorror gave me the idea for this thread in his reply here
What factors do you take into account when joining a forum?

What type of forum user are you? Are you a lurker? Someone who joins a forum, asks a question and then only returns for the answer or to ask another? Are you a core member of a forum who logs on daily and reads a large number of posts? Or one that goes out of your way to answer? Perhaps you use forums to promote your goods or services?

The purpose of this thread is to try and get us to think about, and how we can cater for, the different types of forum user (of which there are surprisingly few common types).


(F. Randall Farmer) #2

Might I suggest this paper? "Visualizing the Signatures of Social Roles in Online Discussion Groups"
One of the paper co-authors (Marc Smith, formerly of Microsoft Research) is now cohost on a podcast I started recently: Social Media Clarity

BTW - This excellent question is getting added to our growing list of topics for future episodes. Thanks!


(Luke Larris) #3

It really depends on the forum for me. If I really like the forum’s subject and the people, I’ll stick around, like here at Meta. But half the time I do join and post on forums just to get some help with specific things, and I only really stay at those forums if I have a lot of questions or I end up really getting into the community.


(Jared Chung) #4

I might add a particular subset of lurker, which I believe fits my “type”: the mostly-email lurker. I typically sign up for forums where I have a connection to the people in the forum, and then wait until topics cross my email inbox in which I feel I can provide some particularly significant value at low time expenditure. Then I click through to provide that value. Usually I respond to calls for help, but sometimes I chime in on a more open ended topic (like this one, I suppose).