Living and Lurking on LiveJournal: benefits of active and non-active membership

Sarah Kathleen Merry, Anoush M Simon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

Purpose This paper reports on research investigating the benefits of membership of the online community LiveJournal, for both active and non-active participants (lurkers). It builds upon and develops previous research on this topic in a new context and presents some alternative perspectives on how lurking is understood by both active participants and lurkers themselves. Methodology Data was gathered using a online questionnaire made available to members of two different LiveJournal communities. Findings The data indicates that both active participants and lurkers receive similar benefits from their membership of LiveJournal, in terms of their sense of community and satisfactions with experience of the community.The percentage of lurkers who felt a sense of community and high levels of satisfaction was lower than that of the respondents who posted regularly to the community, but nonetheless represented the majority of the lurkers.The majority of overall respondents said that lurkers are members of the community in contrast to earlier research in this area. Social implications The research contributes to our understanding of the fast-developing world of online communities, including individuals' reasons for joining and participating in communities. Originality The research builds upon earlier research in a new context; the findings present a different, developing our understanding of how non-active participants are viewed as part of the community of LiveJournal.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-261
Number of pages20
JournalAslib Proceedings
Volume64
Issue number3
Early online date21 Mar 2012
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Keywords

  • Blogs
  • Communities
  • Lurking
  • Online community
  • Online research
  • Social networking
  • Social networks

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