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Subject: In defense of lurkers [Re: not about ...]
From: Jeffrey Goldberg <jeffrey @ goldmark . org>
Date: Tue, 25 Feb 2003 15:29:31 -0800 (PST)
To: List Managers Mailing list <list-managers @ greatcircle . com>
In-reply-to: <19175 . 1046211726 @ kanga . nu>
References: <8263C069-4903-11D7-B4B5-0003934516A8 @ plaidworks . com> <19175 . 1046211726 @ kanga . nu>
Reply-to: Jeffrey Goldberg <jeffrey @ goldmark . org>

On Tue, 25 Feb 2003, J C Lawrence wrote:

> > and RSS and other technologies will only increase the size of the
> > passive audience. I've gone back and forth over whether this is good
> > or bad, and finally decided to not worry about it.
>
> Yeah, a point there that shouldn't ignored is that with rare exception a
> large "leeching" audience is required to derive and support a smaller
> contributing audience.

I'm not sure whether that follows, but I certainly think that in some
contexts contributors are playing for the audience.  Contributors --
instead of trying to persuade each other -- they are genuinely discussing
thing in hope of persuading the audience.  This can help sustain
discussion, and and keep it more civil.

Now I've had a couple lists discussion lists die due to lack of
contribution (one survives only for announcements).  But I don't blame the
lurkers for that.  It didn't matter that there were 500 lurkers instead of
just 50.  The problem was a lack of people willing to discuss things.

A fifth reason for lurkers (which I believe affected one of my lists) is
that people don't want to go on record for an informal discussion.  In an
academic community a lot of the people who will see your posting may later
be evaluating you as a job candidate.  If you unless you are confident
that you shine in discussions, you may wish to stay out of them.

-j

-- 
Jeffrey Goldberg                            http://www.goldmark.org/jeff/
 Relativism is the triumph of authority over truth, convention over justice
 Hate spam?  Boycott MCI! http://www.goldmark.org/jeff/anti-spam/mci/


References:
Indexed By Date Previous: Re: EFF Mailing List Query
From: <mfidelman @ ntcorp . com>
Next: Re: not about (was Re: PLEASE DO NOT CC ME ON MESSAGES TO THIS
From: JC Dill <inet-list @ vo . cnchost . com>
Indexed By Thread Previous: Re: not about (was Re: PLEASE DO NOT CC ME ON MESSAGES TO THIS
From: J C Lawrence <claw @ kanga . nu>
Next: Re: not about (was Re: PLEASE DO NOT CC ME ON MESSAGES TO THIS
From: JC Dill <inet-list @ vo . cnchost . com>

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