Feeds

The seven types of commentard

Researchers say labels beyond 'lurker' and 'contributor' needed

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

Throw out your old definition of online communities as comprised only of lurkers and contributors commentards. A team of academics has come up with seven categories of people who hang out online, and the same number of post types.

The new classification reached the light of day in the February 2012 issue of International Journal of Managing Information Technology, in which Xuequn Wang and Yanjun Yu collaborated on a paper titled Classify participants in online communities (PDF).

The paper's premise is that “ … relatively few studies have tried to understand what kinds of participants constitute online communities [and] the previous way to classify participants is not sufficient and accurate...”

Specifically, Wang and Yu feel that there are more types of online community members than just “lurkers” and “contributors.” The pair end up defining seven, based on how often they contribute and the quality of their posts.

To assess posts, the pair devised the following taxonomy:

Type 1: Posts which provide new information

Type 2: Posts which ask questions

Type 3: Response posts which answer questions

Type 4: Response posts which provide feedback

Type 5: Response posts which thank for help

Type 6: Response posts which say something bad

Type N: Non-posts by those who read but don't post.

From that taxonomy the pair then offer the following seven categories of community members.

Outsiders: Don't know about the community and may or may not care

Non-interested knowers: Know about the community but don't visit

Trouble makers: Occasionally make Type 6 posts, often amid Type 1 and Type 3 contributions

Lurkers: Consume content but don't add anything new

Non-contributing Participants: Ask questions and thank fellow members but don't contribute new information

Partial-contributing participants: Post using Types 1 to 5, but aren't regulars.

Contributor: Lots of Type 1 and Type 3 posts, combined with regular visits.

The paper goes on to say that a mix of these types is desirable, but that online communities need each type of members in different proportions as they grow and age. To that end the study says online communities have four life cycle stages:

1. Attraction

2. Build-up

3. Maintenance

4. Deterioration.

Please ensure that The Register can be considered to be well and truly in the second phase by going nuts with lots of comments from Types 1 to 5.

®

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
MEN WANTED to satisfy town full of yearning BRAZILIAN HOTNESS
'Prettier, better organised, more harmonious than if men were in charge'
Cops baffled by riddle of CHICKEN who crossed ROAD
'Officers were unable to determine Chicken's intent'
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
Drunkards warned: If you can't walk in a straight line, don't shop online, you fool!
Put it away boys. Cover them up ladies. Your credit cards, we mean
Why your mum was WRONG about whiffy tattooed people
They're a future source of RENEWABLE ENERGY
Murder accused DIDN'T ask Siri 'how to hide my roommate'
US court hears of cached browser image - not actual request
Chomp that sausage: Brits just LOVE scoffing a Full Monty
Sales of traditional brekkie foods soar as hungry folk get their mitts greasy
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.