Lurker

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Table of Contents
Introduction
History
Use
References

Introduction

A lurker taken from the internet culture meaning is a member of an online community, who goes online to look but never participates. For example if someone is signed onto a forum but does not contribute to the forum with any posts etc., then the person would be classed as a lurker. Lurkers are not uncommon the majority of the online community are made up of Lurkers. Lurking allows the users who lurk a chance to watch and gaze without actively participating, improving their socialization, and when their leave or ‘de-lurk’ because there have had a lack of social contact, there may feel lonely or apathy.
Lurkers lurk rather than take part because of many different reasons. A majority of lurkers profess that they think that browsing is enough for them, and that they do not have to participate. Some lurkers lurk because they want to find examples to follow if there eventually decide to participate. There may lurk because they want to learn about the ways to converse and the topics of conversation.

History
Lurking has been around for ages and it has been a concern for community members. However the terms lurk has been around since the 14th century, the word means for someone to hide or conceal themselves away. Today lurkers are viewed as positive and negative to have. Some communities refer to lurkers as free riders, whereas some encourage people to lurk.
Use
People lurk in online communities forums etc. For a user to lurk it has a look at the users behavior, it is not just a bad thing to lurk, it has its benefits. A study found that lurkers on an online support group for aids did not differ from caring about the subject they just observed and felt more energetic.
In a study that looked into the lurking within E-learning , their found evidence that suggested that lurking is not a bad form to have , it was a welcome attribute. It helped people with participating in online courses. People revealed that the reasons that people lurk, before their post something was to discover a message to reply. Also to identify a model to adopt and to bypass a reply so that they can require knowledge of the topic.

Reference
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lurker

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