January 28, 2023

The Power of the Lurker

By David D.

Originally posted on DavidDewald.com

Diving into a new community can be intimidating for some. It’s much easier to stay in the background lurking. Reading and enjoying the community and content without needing to join and engage. By locking everything down, you don’t give people a chance to get a taste and feel for what you have to offer. And like fresh baked cookies out of the oven, sometimes a good whiff will get their appetites wet.

You can observe a lot by just watching.

Yogi Berra

Lurkers are less likely to create a new profile, to abandon it and never to return. They’ve already invested in your community as a place where they enjoy what they see. They are often the core drivers of the “Avg. Time on Page” stat that we often track and it makes sense to consider lurkers and what they can view when building out your Community and places for Content. Additionally, because they often make the bulk of the people viewing your content, they will often be the ones to share your content to a wider audience without you even knowing it.

So as you consider your to plans to build, generate content and engage your community; consider the lurkers. Include polls and other interactive features that do not require logins. Host live chats that allow guests to sign in, and publish snippets of your member newsletter in a blog post or forum so they can get a taste of what they are missing.

David D.
David D.

Building Online Communities since 1998 | Full Stack Community Professional | Host of Community Live