There, I’ve said it out loud. There are times that, for various reasons, I read conversations and watch what is going on without visibly participating. Does that make me a bad person, or is my behaviour an entirely rational response to our busy modern world? Do I need to ‘fess up and join in, or is it socially acceptable nowadays for me to passively consume what others create? These, and other questions, were ones that I posed for a recent LTHEChat.
Lurking gets a lot of bad press. Personally, as I said in the twitter chat, and as I’ve explained in more detail in a recent paper written with some friends, my preferred term is Legitimate Peripheral Participation – a phrase we take from Lave and Wenger. But I still use lurking as a shorthand for that phrase, as it doesn’t trip off the tongue easily!
So what do you think? Is lurking a shady thing to do? I don’t think so.