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Jenny Preece, from the University of Maryland, has done a lot of work on
lurkers in online communities:
Nonnecke, B. & Preece, J. (2003) Silent Participants: Getting to Know
Lurkers Better. In C. Leug & D. Fisher (Eds.) From /Usenet to CoWebs:
Interacting with Social Information Spaces. /Springer-Verlag: Amsterdam,
Holland. (in press)
Nonnecke, B. & Preece, J. (2001) Why Lurkers Lurk. AMCIS Conference,
Nonnecke, B. and Preece, J. (2000) Lurker Demographics: Counting the
Silent. Proceedings of CHI'2000, Hague, The Netherlands, 73-80.
- Fernanda Viegas
Ryan Lanham wrote:
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>Has anyone studied "lurkers" in communities or networks? I am reminded
>of Erving Goffman's famous front stage/back stage metaphors. What role
>do lurkers perform? Are they actors? Is there an audience effect to
>discourse on listservs?
>We "publish" to literally (at least etymologically) to make things
>public. Of course that is no long the primary purpose of publishing--it
>has lost the ends for the means. We publish now to build careers. But
>listservs are different. Their immediacy gives an unknown actor--the
>lurker--strange powers. What are they? What can be known about
>I see a sort of capacitance issue again. Someone builds up (or doesn't
>a charge) and then discharges iff certain events occur. Discourse must
>press certainly ontological boundary objects for these discharges to
>surface. Or perhaps those happen in people's lives. Assassins strike
>when officials are having highly visible portions of their career. In
>short, boundary stresses provoke "lurkers" whether they are constructive
>Much is written on democratic participation. Do they know anything
>about lurkers in that part of the discourse universe? What about
>lurkers in markets in business? What role do they have? There must be
>some sort of information theory of this.
>>long time lurker but first time poster to this "community" ;-)
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