In a Google+ discussion of my last post on Lurking and the negative connotations of the term, someone suggested a great alternative term: sampling. I have joined a number of communities with no specific intention to be an active contributor. I want to learn from what they are doing and talking about, but I am not expert enough and/or I don't have the energy to provide more.
I wonder if there are other names for forms of low-contribution community participation?
- Sampling: learning about topics in the community without necessarily feeding back questions or responses.
- Learning: stopping in to learn about a topic. Probably a deeper dive than a sampler.
- Observing: rather than learning about the topic, observers are there to learn about the people participating in the topic and their behaviors. Understanding and mimicking group behavior is a key aspect of becoming a member of the group.
- Connecting: joining one community to bring back ideas / people / connections to another (either real life or virtual).
What are some other POSITIVE (or at least non-negative) things that people do in communities when they are not active participants?