Trivia

Hard

A Person Who Uses Online Communities But Doesn’t Participate Is Known As A?

Troll
Newbie
Lurker
Bounder
A scoreboard operator peeking through an opening in a scoreboard.
SecretName101/Wikimedia

Answer: Lurker

Maybe it’s a concept you’ve never thought much about. Maybe you are one and you don’t realize it. But if you’ve ever visited an online community—be it a big site like Reddit or a small gardening forum that looks like it has survived on the internet since the days of Geocities—and not participated in the discussions found there, then you’re a lurker.

The history of lurkers in digital communities is an old and surprisingly turbulent one. In the early days of online communication, prior to the arrival of widespread consumer internet access, people used dial-up Bulletin Board Systems (BBSs) to host discussions. Back in the days of the BBS, when you used the service you were taking up a physical modem in the BBS’s modem bank. Lurking was discouraged, and if you weren’t actively participating in the BBS community, there was a good chance you’d be kicked off or even banned by the BBS operator.

Later, as communities moved away from the BBS model and into other communities like those centered around mailing lists, Usenet groups, and then the now dominant model, web-based discussion forums, the issues surrounding lurkers shifted. Now, instead of worrying about the resources they consume (which are negligible and don’t stop others from participating like it did back in the BBS days), community administrators instead worry about engagement and enticing lurkers out of the shadows.

What does it take to turn a lurker into a new user? How do you keep a new user long enough that they become a regular member? Online communities live and die by the number and quality of their participants, and now that the resources are practically unlimited, the real value is the people who participate.

Trivia

Very Hard

Nevil Maskelyne Made Headlines As A Hacker Who Infiltrated What?

Trivia

Hard

Marvel Successfully Argued In Court That The X-Men Were Mutants In Order To What?

Trivia

Hard

What Is The Most Abundant Metal In The Human Body?

Trivia

Hard

The Modern Drinking Fountain Was Invented To Combat?

Trivia

Hard

Which Sci-Fi Movie Features An Alien Language The Main Actor Was Fluent In?

Trivia

Easy

For Their April Fool’s Day Prank In 1965, The BBC Claimed They Could Wirelessly Transmit What?

Trivia

Hard

Which Browser Was The Default For Mac OS In The Late 1990s?

Trivia

Hard

The Most Snake Infested Place On Earth Is Located In?

Trivia

Hard

What Scientific Measurement Scale Was Originally Inverted From Its Present State?

Trivia

Hard

Which Of These Office Supplies Was Invented Decades Before It Saw Practical Use?