4 thoughts on “on lurkers, geeks, and pasty white men

  1. Jeffrey Kaplan

    I originally linked the video, then saw you had too so I deleted it.I was thinking about your empowerment motivation issue. It reminded me of a new dating website for mice owners. Point I'm trying to make is that the web is getting more and more affinity spaces by the day. All the time specialized sites are developing like a new blog pops up pictures of kids in low-riders, or an online store that only specializes in Gibson Mandolin F-5 trading (both exist). To make them successful and to move people out of the listening role and become vocal is to have low entry barriers. My biggest question out of all of this is, do we want to move everyone at some point out of the lurking role?

  2. Russ Francis

    Hi Jenna, I really liked this post. It's beautifully written and as someone who hasn't blogged, tweeted or posted a Facebook update for months I found it strangely reassuring to know that their are more vociferous participants at work critiquing the 'strange trend among new media researchers to privilege those who speak the loudests' and hold up 'geeking out' as the gold standard of participation. However I don't necessarily understand why you're so quick to imply that silence is a problem that needs to be solved. It seems to me that Crawford is quite right to draw attention to the merits of lurking and listening. I feel this is a legitimate NML that is sadly in decline and needs to be understood and nurtured in a space in which so many people are speaking all at once. Perhaps we should start to unpack this concept before jumping to the conclusion that listening is some kind of restricted or impeded mode of participation. For example, i'm interested understanding how we identify those voices that are worth listening to, how these voices shape our sense of who we are and where we are heading in life and to what extend are we in control of this process? In turn, it seems that the art of listening in this space is inextricably bound up with the art of designing a media ecology in a mindful or purposeful way to ensure that it feeds us with the voices that inspire, energize and propel us forward to realize our potentialities human beings. Perhaps our capacity to shape this environment, and selectively orchestrate the voices it exposes us to is what makes us slightly more than tool using animals (or pasty white men for that matter). silence is goldenRuss

  3. Jenna McWilliams

    Russ! I agree with you that "silence is golden" and that there's great value in giving people space to listen and not feel pressured to speak. I also agree that listening is a legitimate practice that has different types of value across different types of networks. I only suggest that we consider how "silencing" is often mistaken for "listening." Silencing is what happens when someone might want to speak up but we don't let them speak or don't recognize their participation as "speaking"–often, in my opinion, because we don't recognize certain forms of participation as participation.

  4. The Untwitterable

    I don't know why none of the other comment leavers have not mentioned this yet but that captain picard comic was awesome.

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