Lurking or Legitimate Peripheral Participation

Christy Tucker, Experiencing E-Learning, Jul 18, 2011
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Christy Tucker makes what I think is the very good point that lurking is legitimate participation, and not only that, that most of our participation in media is in the form of lurking (we just don't think of it as such). Consider these examples:
- "YouTube: Most of the time on YouTube, I’m just watching. I’m not creating my own videos, commenting, sharing, or bookmarking. I have a few videos, but I’m lurking at least 90% of the time.
- Kongregate: Technically, I am not a lurker on this gaming site by the strictest definition, since I do rate games. I read through the forums and chat  sometimes, but rarely jump into the conversation.
- News: I don’t get a newspaper in “dead tree” format; I get most of my news online. I read several newspapers and blogs, all of which have commenting or community features. Most of the time I don’t even read the user discussions, and I never add my own comments.
- Slashdot: I skim the RSS feed, but I don’t have an account and have never commented.
- Wikipedia: At one point, I contributed quite a bit (2500+ edits), but it’s been over a year since I’ve been active."
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