This website covers knowledge management, personal effectiveness, theory of constraints, amongst other topics. Opinions expressed here are strictly those of the owner, Jack Vinson, and those of the commenters.

Sampling and other low-contribution participation forms

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?

Brains! People want pieces of experts' brains

Look, I'm lurking