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 …

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  1. Pisnaz
    Joke

    First

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

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Term

      Re: First

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

    3. Voland's right hand Silver badge
      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/

      1. John Sager

        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.

        1. xeroks
          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.

          1. Scorchio!!

            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.

        2. awomanfromVenus
          Alien

          Re: First

          there was a guy who used to post the weirdest stuff

          On this site he's known as "amanfromMars"

        3. TimChuma

          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!)

        4. Scorchio!!
          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!

    4. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects
      Boffin

      Re: First =Leftoutard

      Has to be noticed.

      Has insights

      Is largely ignored

      (States obvious)

  2. Chad H.

    Clearly flawed

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

    1. Term

      Re: Clearly flawed

      Type 6

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Clearly flawed

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

        1. Darryl

          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)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      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.

    3. thefutureboy
      Angel

      Re: Clearly flawed

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

  3. Eddy Ito Silver badge

    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.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      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.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    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.

    1. Richard IV
      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.

      1. swampdog

        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?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          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

          1. Scorchio!!

            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.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Facepalm

              Re: Type 8: Nitpickers

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

              --- another clean breast

            2. Dave Harris

              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.

        2. Scorchio!!

          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.

    2. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects
      Flame

      Then there's the over analytical whinger tard.

    3. ravenviz
      Facepalm

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

  5. tkioz
    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.

  6. Allan George Dyer Silver badge
    Facepalm

    How do you count Type N?

    and is this post Type 2, 4 or 6?

    1. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Headmaster

      and is this post Type 2, 4 or 6?

      Yes.

    2. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

      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

  7. Anonymous Coward
    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.

    1. SteveCo

      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?

  8. Killraven
    WTF?

    Prepare the Down votes!

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

  9. Richard Ball

    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.

    1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: This is not a type N post

      Yes, but do use El Reg approved units

      1. Spanners Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: This is not a type N post

        We need some Reg approved type names for these.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      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.

      1. Mister_C
        Happy

        Re: This is not a type N post

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

        1. Michael Dunn
          Happy

          Re: This is not a type N post

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

      2. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart
        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

  10. Titus Technophobe
    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      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.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        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.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      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

      ...

      not that USA stuff though

      ...

      zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

      ...

      1. Geoffrey W Silver badge
        Linux

        Re: USA cheese

        Why the USA flame?

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

  11. This post has been deleted by its author

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    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.

    1. Danny Roberts 1
      Joke

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

      How about a new group;

      NN - Those who don't read or post (or even visit). If we can work out how to advertise to them, we'll make a fortune!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

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

        >Those who don't read or post (or even visit).

        They're called Sun readers.

  13. Bob Vistakin
    Big Brother

    Where do all the shills fit in?

    As defined by being paid/gain otherwise to make posts which further the aims of someone using this as part of their online marketing strategy in influential forums? Their own opinion is irrelevant and never seen - if they have one at all.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Where do all the shills fit in?

      Everyone pretends they don't exist, despite them at times being the vast majority of posts in some stories...

      Microsoft and Apple are by far the biggest investors in shill marketing, I just wish someone was brave enough to call them out...

      I would LOVE to get my hands on El-Reg IP Address logs to see what they reveal :-)

      1. dogged

        Re: Where do all the shills fit in?

        Is that because all Microsoft and Apple products suck, Barry?

        Is that why? But if you were to ask a lot of posters on RegHardware, they'd tell you that all Sony products suck. And you always defend Sony, don't you Barry?

        While attacking anything from Microsoft or Apple.

        Hypocrite.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Coffee/keyboard

        That's funny coming from you Barry.

        1. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart
          Headmaster

          Sharry Pit Bees

          You've put Barry in the wrong category, Barry is in fact an anti-shill, I've seem plenty of Barry's posts attacking a certain company but very few promoting anything.

          1. dogged

            Re: Sharry Pit Bees

            You've clearly not be reading any stories about Sony or Android then.

    2. Billa Bong

      Re: Where do all the shills fit in?

      Just what I was going to ask. A few customers of mine in particular get a lot of posts which start out very complimentary about the site (generic "what a good site" comments) with the sole intention of promoting then their own. I just delete the offending advert part of the text and publish anyway. Muahahaha! (BOFH logo)

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just needs one category

    0: Time wasting wankers

  15. irish donkey
    Boffin

    Articles and Authors

    Can we categorise the authors/articles as well.

    1. Well informed author/article writing a well balanced article.

    2. Single sided diatribe with no grounding in reality and not open for honest criticism or debate.

    Can we recognise the types?

    1. TheRealRoland

      Re: Articles and Authors

      Sub-classes for the ones that spell-check articles (manually, properly!), automatic (computer says no errors found! Submit!) or not-at-all ?

  16. TheRealRoland

    but what type is

    'This post has been deleted by its author'?

    Apparently he/she took the time to react, then reflect, then withdraw?

    Oh, the agony!

    1. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: but what type is

      Sometimes a reply is present from which one can derive that the original author apparently was talking out of some nether orifice, and, having had this pointed out, chose to use the 'delete' button as shorthand for "Thank you for pointing out the errors stemming from my lack of grasp regarding the subject at hand".

      I would like to propose a type BD (Bollocks, Deleted) for this.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Obviously most of mine are 6, but which category applies to fanboys posting with their RDF field dialled to 11?

    1. Spanners Silver badge
      Linux

      Re: Optional

      They missed that one. I suggest that we add a "Fanbois" category. The only problem I see there is that what I would put in there, someone else might not.

      I suppose the whole system is subjective.

  18. Milo Minderbinder
    Alien

    Another missed category

    <---- aManfromMars(1).

    I don't see him in any of these categories.

    Although tbh I have seen one or two posts that were comprehensible (mostly).

    Oh, another one just popped up: what about off-topic replies (or replies to clearly very different topics - I always wondered about those)?

    1. Jess--

      Re: Another missed category

      you beat me to it, I was going to ask where amanfrommars1's posts fitted in

  19. frank ly Silver badge
    Go

    The next stage ....

    Some analysis of our history and our posts could be used to categorise us, then we could have a little symbol by our names with a shape/colour dependent on our determined category; to let other commentards know what to expect.

  20. Gerard Krupa

    How about the 6 types of press release?

    1. Those which provide genuine information

    2. Those which make controversial but meaningless statements to drum up interest (futurology)

    3. Those designed to justify someone's pointless job

    4. Hoaxes and/or boasting for pure spite/smugness

    5. Enormously biased/out of context to 'prove' someone's existing point of view (Fox News)

    6. Misinformation to alter perception/behaviour/stock prices in the announcer's favour

  21. Ken 16 Silver badge
    Holmes

    A mix of these types is desirable

    I'm therefore happy to put myself forward as an Outsider and Non-interested knower for any communities which are lacking those types.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wibble

    Categorise that!

    1. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart
      Headmaster

      Re: Wibble

      A type 2. Should be "Wibble, Wibble" with underpants on head and a pencil up each nostril.

  23. ACx

    Tardtard: Idiots who think "tard" is hip and cool, yet fail to understand it is self describing.

  24. Sceptic Tank

    I wasn't asked but I'm giving my input anyway:

    Type 0 - Posts which provide no information

    ...

    Type (N+1) - Completely misunderstood what was being said

    Type (N+2) - Didn't read but just wanted to say something anyway.

    Type (N+3) - Sp@m

    Type (N+4) - Posts about how MS/Apple is the enemy.

  25. Andrew Jones 2
    Boffin

    Almost all types of online communities provide a way to "like" or "dislike" a post or comment without actually formulating a response. Is this covered by Type 5? I only ask because technically they are not posts but they do thank posters - and in fact could also be Type 4 too - in that they provide feedback as to whether the post is one people agree with - or don't agree with.

    Maybe they need to go back and be paid insane amounts of money to now research how people provide feedback in an online community. For instance some people will like/upvote/share/retweet/+1 etc a post because they agree with it or like it. However some people will downvote/dislike a post because while it may be true - they don't like the idea of it.

    It harks back to the likes of Facebook for instance - Someone posts "my dad has cancer", 10 people "like" it. What does it mean? Are they happy that someone's dad has cancer? Are they the sort that acknowledge a post by clicking "like". Some people say that they "like" the post because Facebook provides no other mechanism to respond to the post than in a positive way, but there is a comment box... one can discuss the content of the post however one wishes in this box.

    Now taking this example back to an online community like El Reg - the same applies - someone writes "my dad has cancer" - and lets assume that this comment is on topic. If someone downvotes the comment what could it mean? They don't like the comment, they don't believe the comment or they are in the habit of downvoting comments regardless of content. Conversely someone upvoting the comment could be saying they are happy someone's dad has cancer, they could be upvoting to spread awareness of the comment or they could be in the habit of upvoting comments regardless of the content.

    Much more research obviously needs to be done :)

    Finally - this research is missing an obvious commentard - the spammer. Generally an automated machine who cares little of the discussion to which it wades in to tell you all about the wonderful world of viagra.

  26. jai

    missing a type of post

    El Reg seems to have an 1/Nth type of post - by those who comment without reading the original article.

    It's the inverse of an N-type post :)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: missing a type of post

      Or indeed those who comment without reading previous comments.

  27. jai

    the 7 types of commentards.....

    1. Sneezy

    2. Sleepy

    3. Dopey

    4. Doc

    5. Happy

    6. Bashful

    7. Grumpy

  28. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. FutureShock999

      Something Awful

      1. Swarthy Silver badge

        Something Positive

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Something borrowed.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Something wicked this way comes.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Nothing good,

  29. Iceman
    Trollface

    This has been throroghly studied before

    The list in this article pales in comparison to this:

    http://redwing.hutman.net/~mreed/index.htm

    Troll because it needs to be added to your list.

  30. TheOtherHobbes
    Happy

    Which category

    do journalists live in?

  31. Dick Pountain

    Null Point

    this is NOT a Type N

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sirs...

    I note with dissatisfaction that your recent article on "The seven types of commentard" in no way deal with the diminishing numbers of the Red-backed Shrike (Lanius collurio) and its endangered habitat in southwest England.

    This seems to be a purposeful omission that myself, and a man I know at the pub whose name I cannot recall, find to be blatantly unconscionable.

    Yours etc.

    Colonel E.G. Palmer, (Ret'd)

    Officer Commanding

    2nd Royal Tank Regiment,

    Recce Troop, Avian Branch

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oi Scamps, get on Yahoo

    I need to talk to you about Stu [-]

  34. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD
    Paris Hilton

    I was about to post something extremely clever...

    ... but I couldn't recall much of what I read of the article. It must have been a load of bollox.

    Does that make me a trouble maker?

    Paris, 'cos tis' too late in the night and I am probably only running 1 brain cell.

  35. Doug Glass
    Go

    They left off ...

    ... drive-by commentards.

  36. Beelzeebub
    Flame

    They forgot another category

    Comments from HELL!

  37. Dave Walker
    Coat

    Thank You

    That listing of taxonomy was very helpful!

  38. Faye Berdache

    More types

    There seems to be at least one type missing from this list. What about those that post just to be heard, neither contributing nor actually saying bad things. They could be termed the 'Me Too' group which could be extended to cover those that reply by simply agreeing with the previous poster.

    1. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

      Re: More types

      I'd agree with that.

  39. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Digressives?

    And of course, the other omission is those who post something that's tenously linked to the forum topic under discussion, but which digresses the thread onto a totally unrelated subject.

    So after a couple of pages a thread that started talking about HTML5 ends up talking about the merits of Galaxy vs Dairy Milk or somesuch and give board moderators more work...

  40. Nebulo
    Go

    A try for types 1 to 5 inclusive

    Type 1: Posts which provide new information

    ... I am about six feet tall, easygoing and astonishingly intelligent ...

    Type 2: Posts which ask questions

    ... Why are we here? ...

    Type 3: Response posts which answer questions*

    (* - Of course, you have to ask the right questions.)

    ... Lhasa

    ... Will my thirst play me tricks?/The ant about to be crushed ponders not the wherewithal of bootleather

    ... A clapperboard

    Type 4: Response posts which provide feedback

    ... Only seven? These academics aren't trying ...

    Type 5: Response posts which thank for help

    ... but thank you nevertheless for a very helpful article!

    Yrs, etc, an occasionally contributing troublemaker. And a tip of the hat to any fellow obscurantist who recognises the question to my second answer /before/ searching the net for it.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Important Information

    It's worth considering that a good proportion of Type 6 posts are necessary because the contributors of Types 1 through 5 do one or more of the following:

    * disseminate misinformation;

    * make inaccurate or unarguably false statements;

    * demonstrate a complete lack of understanding of the subject; or

    * are so backward that they fail to communicate their intended message effectively.

    </troll>

  42. OrsonX
    Flame

    Apple is the best

    filling for apple pie.

    - what category is flame bait?!

  43. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge
    Pint

    ElReg's phase may be further down...

    Less and less tech discussions in here.

    http://ars.userfriendly.org/cartoons/?id=20041204

    Just kidding, their description of phases is no more exhaustive than for the type of comments or contributors, at least not for a multi-angle "community". Their description fits a facebook group rather well, because these are usually short-lived 1-topic "communities", but for anything else they are way off the mark.

  44. Galidron
    Facepalm

    Type 4 comments

    Why did they include type 4 comments when it appears none of their commenter types make type 4 comments?

  45. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Meh

    Meh!

    OK, clever clogs. What category is that?

  46. C. P. Cosgrove
    Pint

    Only a partial

    How could I resist your request for a comment, even if I am only a 'partial-contributing participant'. It's not my fault, I only have so much time in the day. It's a bit like going to my local T**** and being asked for my T**** card. I don't do loyalty cards - I cannot stop HMRC writing a database on me, but I can stop supermarkets.

    I still like 'The Register', even if some of the articles verge on the metaphysical.

    Chris Cosgrove

    Pint pot because I like beer !

  47. grumpy ray
    Go

    comment stream

    Perhaps this entire comment stream could be forwarded to Wang and Yu for their considered analysis.

  48. david 12 Bronze badge

    online communities have four life cycle stages:

    I'd put TheRegister into group 3 or 4 now:

    3. Maintenance

    4. Deterioration.

    I don't bother looking at the comments about software any more. I know that they will be only full of comments containing no new information. Just worthless self-important opinions about the value and morality of software vendors and customers.

    Like this one.

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I think this is a wonderful insightful story and I am terribly grateful for The Register sharing it with us.

    May I say how fit all the respondents are looking today, stylishly dressed too (that really suits you BTW) Have you lost some weight?

    As ever, a bright spot in my day,

    Thank you all.

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