Trivia

Hard

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

Bounder
Lurker
Newbie
Troll
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

Hard

Iconoclastic Comedian George Carlin Was Also The Narrator For Which Of These Children’s Shows?

Trivia

Hard

Despite Popular Belief, Which Of These Animals Rarely Carries Rabies?

Trivia

Hard

Which Of These Popular Candy Mixes Was Created By Accident?

Trivia

Easy

“Peace Lines” Are An Urban Architectural Feature Found Throughout?

Trivia

Easy

The Same Bacteria Responsible For Foot Odor Is Also Used In Crafting?

Trivia

Hard

The Fermi Paradox Deals With What Scientific Matter?

Trivia

Easy

Hundreds Of Cars Were Destroyed Over The Course Of Which Of These TV Series?

Trivia

Hard

Which Famous Museum’s Founder Had Never Visited The Country It Was Established In?

Trivia

Easy

Which Company Is The Most Valuable In The History Of The World?

Trivia

Hard

Modern Pajamas Displaced Nightgowns As Preferred Sleeping Attire Thanks To?