The Community Club


Long live the lurker

ben profile image Ben Halpern ・1 min read

I absolutely loved the responses to this post:

I am glad there is love for lurking. I am only a lurker in some of my favorite places on the web.

Forem has always been developed in a pro-lurker capacity, but this hasn't been something I've talked a lot about.

Some design elements of community (such as public follow count) can hurt the joy of lurking by putting a bit of extra social pressure on taking part. I'm happy we've been thoughtful about some of this stuff and always encouraged healthy lurking.

To follow up on the last convo, how can communities do to encourage the right kind of participation while not socially punishing healthy lurking?

Discussion (3)

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ludoan profile image
Lu Doan

Semi-pro lurker here ;). I tend to listen more than I talk. I've never felt punished for lurking. I feel like I'm participating by providing feedback through mechanisms like upvoting, liking, etc.

I find that most platforms only include positive feedback options. Negative feedback is a valuable part of the feedback loop. There are many times that I think a post is bad or it's something I disagree with but I don't leave a negative comment because I don't want to get into a confrontation.

What are your thoughts on including negative options in the one-click feedback?

ben profile image
Ben Halpern Author

I think negative feedback requires a degree of nuance. Not that it can’t be discovered in non-comment interactions, but I think it has to be done very thoughtfully. And with that in mind, I am going to give this some extra thought 🤓

ludoan profile image
Lu Doan

Perhaps utilizing a variant of a Likert scale?