The top five reasons for lurking: improving community experiences for everyone

The top five reasons for lurking: improving community experiences for everyone Even in busy online communities, usually only a small fraction of members post messages. Why do so many people prefer not to contribute publicly? From an online survey that generated 1,188 responses from posters and lurkers from 375 MSN bulletin board communities, 219 lurkers spoke out about their reasons for not posting. While lurkers did not participate publicly, they did seek answers to questions. However, lurkers’ satisfaction with their community experience was lower than those who post. Data from 19 checkbox items and over 490 open-ended responses were analyzed. From this analysis, the main reasons why lurkers lurk were concerned with: not needing to post; needing to find out more about the group before participating; thinking that they were being helpful by not posting; not being able to make the software work (i.e., poor usability); and not liking the group dynamics or the community was a poor fit for them. Two key conclusions were drawn from this analysis. First, there are many reasons why people lurk in online discussion communities. Second, and most important, most lurkers are not selfish free-riders. From these findings, it is clear that there are many ways to improve online community experiences for both posters and lurkers. Some solutions require improved software and better tools, but moderation and better interaction support will produce dramatic improvements. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Computers in Human Behavior Elsevier

The top five reasons for lurking: improving community experiences for everyone

Loading next page...
 
/lp/elsevier/the-top-five-reasons-for-lurking-improving-community-experiences-for-Q13pqMlrYo
Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 2003 Elsevier Ltd
ISSN
0747-5632
DOI
10.1016/j.chb.2003.10.015
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Even in busy online communities, usually only a small fraction of members post messages. Why do so many people prefer not to contribute publicly? From an online survey that generated 1,188 responses from posters and lurkers from 375 MSN bulletin board communities, 219 lurkers spoke out about their reasons for not posting. While lurkers did not participate publicly, they did seek answers to questions. However, lurkers’ satisfaction with their community experience was lower than those who post. Data from 19 checkbox items and over 490 open-ended responses were analyzed. From this analysis, the main reasons why lurkers lurk were concerned with: not needing to post; needing to find out more about the group before participating; thinking that they were being helpful by not posting; not being able to make the software work (i.e., poor usability); and not liking the group dynamics or the community was a poor fit for them. Two key conclusions were drawn from this analysis. First, there are many reasons why people lurk in online discussion communities. Second, and most important, most lurkers are not selfish free-riders. From these findings, it is clear that there are many ways to improve online community experiences for both posters and lurkers. Some solutions require improved software and better tools, but moderation and better interaction support will produce dramatic improvements.

Journal

Computers in Human BehaviorElsevier

Published: Mar 1, 2004

References

  • Making friends in cyberspace
    Parks, R.M; Floyd, K
  • Empathic communities
    Preece, J

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve

Freelancer

DeepDyve

Pro

Price

FREE

$49/month
$360/year

Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed

Create folders to
organize your research

Export folders, citations

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month

PDF Discount

20% off