Niemeyer Clemens and Schoenfeld, Mirco - Archives of Data Science, Series A

Article Details

Title Reputation Through Observation: Active Lurkers in an Online Community
Authors Niemeyer Clemens and Schoenfeld, Mirco
Year 2018
Volume 5(1)
Abstract Lurkers are the invisibile majority in a typical online community: Users that silently observe, consume, and become accustomed to a community without interacting actively. At some point in time, a small fraction of lurkers decides to start taking part in a community in some way. In this paper, we investigate the implications of lurking for the interactions of such newly-active users or active lurkers. In our analysis, we focus on a sub-community of the well- known Online Social Network (OSN) Reddit and track linguistic development of users’ comments as well as the development of user’s reputation. We analyze and compare the complete lifecycles of two types of users – active lurkers and non-lurkers. Our work gives new insights into the effects of lurking with respect to linguistic adaption of community habits and to reputation active lurkers are able to gain. In general, most influential and innovative contributions were submitted by former lurkers.