Read Lurking and Social Networks by Ton ZijlstraTon Zijlstra (Interdependent Thoughts)

Lurking, although the word seems to imply a negative connotation, has usefull aspects nonetheless. It is a way of determining rules of behaviour for new comers to a group.
The most obvious characteristic of a lurker is that he’s at the fringe of a group, listening and observing. Being at the fringe may seem like a bad place from the core, but in fact is a good position to build bridges to other groups, and be aware of other groups in the vicinity. In a face to face setting like a pub or a meeting of some kind, a lurker is visible, often shortly introduced after which the focus of attention shifts to the established group members again.
In on-line settings things are different. In some fora lurkers are encouraged to introduce themselves and then adviced to lurk, i.e. observe and learn for a while. But at all times there is no way of knowing how many lurkers are there that you are unaware of.
As lurkers are possible bridges to other groups, I as a blogger, would like to know:

  • How many lurkers I have, who read my blog but don’t comment or post.
  • Who they are
    Serverlogs can give some clues, and I keep a close watch on them. Dave Winer’s RSS-tool also brings new info to light.

network diagram with strong ties and numerous weak ties, preventing echo chambers

network diagram with strong ties and numerous weak ties, preventing echo chambers

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  • Chris Aldrich

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