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back to article The seven types of commentard

Throw out your old definition of online communities as comprised only of lurkers and contributors commentards. A team of academics has come up with seven categories of people who hang out online, and the same number of post types. The new classification reached the light of day in the February 2012 issue of International Journal …

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Joke

First

re title I am unsure of what type of post this fits into. Think they missed a few types personally.

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Re: First

You're asking which type your post fits into, that'll be Type 2.

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Devil

Re: First

How lame

The analysis has been done long ago and I am yet to see a type that does not fit one of the major categories here: http://www.politicsforum.org/images/flame_warriors/

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Boffin

Re: First =Leftoutard

Has to be noticed.

Has insights

Is largely ignored

(States obvious)

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Re: First

That PoliticsForum list is interesting - I recognise a lot of those from the old days on Usenet, but there are far too many categories there for taxonomic purposes. However there aren't enough types here. 6 at least needs sub-categories. The out & out flamers (which I haven't seen on ElReg really), the functionally illiterate, the completely clueless and the completely insane. Of this last, I remember on sci.physics in the 90s there was a guy who used to post the weirdest stuff, and no-one could disabuse him of his strange world view. Apparently he really was a tenured professor at some US university too. Plenty more like him in other fora, but none that I remember with those kind of credentials.

There's probably something useful to say about the sociology of online communities as distinct from traditional face-to-face styles of community, but this isn't (yet) it.

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Gimp

Re: First

Don't suppose that was the guy who used to rant for pages about psychosis -inducing "Acoustic Bullets", mind reading government agents and stuff?

I started to read one of his posts, but managed to stop before it was too late.

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Alien

Re: First

there was a guy who used to post the weirdest stuff

On this site he's known as "amanfromMars"

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Re: First

That would be Alexander Abian

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Abian

Also

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usenet_celebrity

Kibo can still be sighted every 25th December posting his "Christmas Spot Story" to alt.religion.kibology (newsgroup severs still exist!)

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Thumb Up

Re: First

"Of this last, I remember on sci.physics in the 90s there was a guy who used to post the weirdest stuff, and no-one could disabuse him of his strange world view."

Hammond, wasn't it? I poked him the ribs a couple of times using sock puppets. Because he'd been so nice to me up front I couldn't use my own handle!

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Re: First

Oh they all conform to some sort of pattern of craziness. Take Archimedes Plutonium, for example; search engine bombing was his fixation. Helena Kobrin, the barratriste from $cientology is another example. Palmer the self-styled 'flame giant'. Earl Curley, the airport lounge poster, and on it goes. I haven't posted on Usenet for years. I'll have to fire up the Linux notebook and have some fun, now that I think about it.

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Clearly flawed

Where is the "pointless Snide comment" and "I think I'm a comedian" post types?

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Re: Clearly flawed

Type 6

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Re: Clearly flawed

I'd say "pointless Snide comment" is a type 6, but you're right about the "I think I'm a comedian" post types.

I suggest that there is a general class of 'entertaining' (usually pointless) which is very common to theRegister and rare elsewhere. I got hooked by theRegister 2 years ago because of the tremendous entertainment I got from the hilarious posts on the LHC stories.

I think there is also a commentard type of 'timid' - usually only posts in response to others' posts.

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Angel

Re: Clearly flawed

Not to mention those of us who *know* we are comedians.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Clearly flawed

That's assuming that you believe all comedy is 'bad'...

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Re: Clearly flawed

Not ALL comedy is bad...

Just most of the comedy in the comments on El Reg

(Yes, I'm including myself in that generalization)

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Ok

So translating the types they came up with we have; ignorant, apathetic, troll, lurker, n00b, commentard-lite and commentard-pro. Reminds me of SKUs from a certain operating system vendor.

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TRT
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Re: Ok

I think the "stages of a forum" fits the Douglas Adams model; survival, inquiry and sophistication.

Thus

(1) Survival - membership is the lifeblood of a forum, so let's attract as many members as possible.

(2) Inquiry - Why do our members come here? What do they get from our forum? What does the forum get from them?

and (3) Sophistication - Sorry, you're not on the guest list.

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FAIL

Type 1: Posts which provide new information

Type 2: Posts which ask questions

Type 3: Response posts which answer questions

Type 4: Response posts which provide feedback

Type 5: Response posts which thank for help

Type 6: Response posts which say something bad

Type N: Non-posts by those who read but don't post.

Sorry for the long paste but.. with the restrictions gone... ;-)

Aren't 1 & 4 overlapping? "response" could mean response to the article (my post) or a response to another post / response. bzzzzt.

How does one qualify a combination of 2 & 5 ? I always thank people - up front - for trying to help me out. So if I ask a question to the original author and give thanks up front I'm now 2 groups ? That's not even mentioning the possible inclusion of item 4.

Bottom line... Nice study, shame about the time wasted on all this. There are some things which you hardly /can/ theorize about and IMO this is just one of them. How about trolls? They don't say anything bad perse; they only share that which triggers the most likely amount of responses, no matter if those are bad or good ("genuine"); its quantity over quality.

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Boffin

Overlapping

Yes. That's how taxonomy works. Types aren't mutually exclusive. Do you put bats in with winged creatures or mammals? Hint: it's both.

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Flame

Then there's the over analytical whinger tard.

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Facepalm

Maybe next time they'll ask you what to study to make sure you're interested

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Re: Overlapping

"Yes. That's how taxonomy works. Types aren't mutually exclusive. Do you put bats in with winged creatures or mammals? Hint: it's both."

I guess you put the batwings in "winged creatures" and the reproductive system into "mammals". Which category does the rest of the carcass fit into?

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Headmaster

Type 8: Nitpickers

i think it is the feeding system, rather than reproductive, that makes a mammal a mammal: think mammaries.

(which is always a pleasant occupation anyway)

...Which tips this post from nitpicking into bad comedy

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Re: Overlapping

Mike Reed would probably have seized on this so I'll keep it short; now is time for a homily on Venn diagrams.

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Re: Type 8: Nitpickers

"i think it is the feeding system, rather than reproductive, that makes a mammal a mammal: think mammaries."

No, that is not quite it; egg vs foetus is the root here, since the feeding system is based on this.

"(which is always a pleasant occupation anyway)

...Which tips this post from nitpicking into bad comedy"

So good of you to make a clean breast of it.

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Facepalm

Re: Type 8: Nitpickers

So, type 9... nitpickers who are /wrong/ then?

--- another clean breast

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Re: Type 8: Nitpickers

"No, that is not quite it; egg vs foetus is the root here, since the feeding system is based on this."

Not quite: ornythorhynchus anatinus (platypus) and a few spiny anteaters are egg-laying, rather than live-birthers, but are still mammals. Feeding via mammaries is pretty much the main criterion.

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Terminator

I think they are missing something with the "non-contributing" posters, just because they don't add information and may only consume and occasionally thank and ask doesn't mean they don't add value to a community. I think this study undervalues "view counts" and "reply counts" even if the relies are just a few words saying "thanks", regular posters like to see their content is appreciated, and seeing the number of people who have read, thanked, or even hit +1 to something you wrote keeps them contributing.

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Facepalm

How do you count Type N?

and is this post Type 2, 4 or 6?

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Headmaster

and is this post Type 2, 4 or 6?

Yes.

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Re: How do you count Type N?

More importantly, how do you submit a type N post?

I really want to, but on second thoughts, I cannot be bothered

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Anonymous Coward

Taxonomous

The taxonomy seems to be missing at least one, possibly two categories. It's also far too wordy, so I've tried to simplify things a bit.

Outsiders ... Oblivious

Non-interested knowers ... Indifferent

Trouble makers ... Yoot

Lurkers ... Low-Normals

Non-contributing Participants ... Ned Flanders

Partial-contributing participants ... Canadians

Contributor ... Commentard

To the above I would add these:

- Consume mass quantities of content but don't add anything new ... Leech

- Irritate a significant contingent of community members by posting in one or more of the following forms: all lowercase; all uppercase; text devoid of punctuation; text replete with spelling errors (as distinct from typographic errors, to be sure); txt-styl; or, streamed-inanity ... Unclued

I hope we don't have to learn even the original taxonomy down-pat, though; TMI.

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Re: Taxonomous

Indeed - point 6 is too vague in that list.

'Something bad' usually relates to either a direct attack on the poster, either ridiculing the poster for their lack of knowledge, grammar, general noobness. Or an attack on the forum in general by posting such an inflammatory statement that people go off topic and the thread descends into a flame war.

Where does 'the Administrator' fit into this list?

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WTF?

Prepare the Down votes!

Commentard: Continuing the tradition of thinking it's cool/funny to be equated with dumb.

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This is not a type N post

Who are all you people? I don't understand.

When I'm making my yogurt, for how long should I heat the milk? Should it froth up or does that spoil the taste?

Cheers, I think.

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Happy

Re: This is not a type N post

Yes, but do use El Reg approved units

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Happy

Re: This is not a type N post

We need some Reg approved type names for these.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: This is not a type N post

Get it really hot to sterilise it (but stop just short of boiling) then let it cool. When it's bath water temperature, add about a tenth of the volume of milk of live yoghurt, give it a good stir, then leave it alone in a warm place to just cool slowly. You'll have turned it all into yoghurt in like, six hours or so, mebbe longer if your warm place isn't warm enough.

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Happy

Re: This is not a type N post

A vacuum flask is a suitable "warm place". Especially if you like coffee flavoured yoghurt.

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Paris Hilton

Re: This is not a type N post

Or it could be that there is no Lactobacillus (also called Döderlein's bacillus) present in your boiled milk, luckily a ready supply of Lactobacillus can be found in the human body, I'm not going to say in which gender specific part of the body it can be found, but lets say that I think Cleopatra may have made a lot of yoghurt.

The icon is another clue

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Happy

Re: This is not a type N post

Oh, I keep my iced tea in a vacuum flask!

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Thumb Up

A truly significant article

I notice particularly that the analysis of the results suggests that there are seven sorts of commentard and four phases to the development of a bulletin board. What is interesting is how this tallies with other technology paradigms.

Seven categories of commentard corresponds very nicely with the seven layers of the ISO networking standard.

The four phases of 'Online Community' development seems to fall in line almost exactly with both the phases of project team development (forming, norming, storming and performing) and project SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats).

Taking this a little further it can be seen that seven is a prime number and four would be a prime number if it wasn't also an even number. There must be some conclusions that can be drawn from these two numbers.

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Re: A truly significant article

Very astute observations.

You've reminded of my normal reaction when told things like "the average human can handle at most 7 things at once" - the reaction is "bollocks" (for me , on a bad day 3 is too many; on a good day I eat 7 for breakfast).

I submit that it is 7 and 4 because 'it shall be so', and for no other reason : hence comment type "N" was devised, cos 6 comment types just wouldn't do.

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Unhappy

@me - Re: A truly significant article

Hmmm. Re-reading my post I think there's a need for a category for "posts which are intended to be complimentary, but might come over as sarcastic" and maybe an "inept" commentard type. Downvoted myself for style.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: A truly significant article

The seven layers of hell seem to be what we all are currently descending through...

And there is a philosophical system that describes 4 modes of being, though I am unclear as to the distinctions between mode 1 and mode 3 - Actualities and Existence. Perhaps deep thought, if he's listening, could expound. Deep thought of course, would correspond to mode 4 - God

Cheese is nice

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not that USA stuff though

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zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

...

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Linux

Re: USA cheese

Why the USA flame?

What kind of stupid comments system won't let me down vote a sock puppet!!!!!

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Type N: Non-posts by those who read but don't post.

They've missed the most common

Type DM: Non-posts by those who post but don't read.

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