Gamers & Flamers

When running an online community, you must consider the different personality types that inhabit it. Rebecca Newton from Mind Candy and Jennifer Puckett from Walt Disney Internet Group ran a panel entitled Community & Loyalty: Gamers to Flamers, Lurkers to Workers covering exactly that. Personality types to consider are:

  • Snob
  • Veteran
  • Noob / Newbie
  • Competator
  • Flamer / Griever – the intial instinct is to get rid of them. However try giving them their own space, where they can do what they like with their own rules. They’re not going to go away but if you give them somewhere to go, they’ll have fun and it will not disturb the rest.
  • Lurker – Don’t seem to be active. Participate without words. For every one active user, they’ll be twelve lurkers.
  • Worker
  • Hall Monitor
  • Expert
  • Shy but loyal
  • Evangelist
  • Self Promoter
  • Trolls / Disrupters – show everything down
  • Spammers
  • Problem children

Communities are self organising. Don’t try to disturb them unless you have to.

After people have signed up, how do you turn them into active participants and make them spread the word? Give them exclusive access to features and new features, getting them to submit feedback. Encourage them to participate as much as possible.

Not everyone wants to participate in a community. Give them baby steps: checkboxes / radio buttons, to allow them to participate.

Rebecca & Jennifer produced some brief notes on the session which you can download here. They recommend two listserves on community issues:

There is a third listserv for community managers, available from however they don’t recommend it due to high volume of “me too” and inside jokey chat.


1 comment so far

  1. […] Community & Loyalty: Gamers to Flamers – Fostering community in social networking sites […]

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