[DWJ] Lurkers on the List

Minnow minnow at belfry.org.uk
Wed Mar 28 06:26:25 EDT 2007

Gosh, the lurkers came out of the long grass this morning!  Lovely!  Lots
of welcoming noises all round 'cos it would be OTT to reply with a hello to
each of them individually -- maybe the List could run to a virtual cake and
some cucumber sandwiches and have a tea-party for all of us whilst we
introduce ourselves and get talking?  (Well, it was worth a try...)

I've always slightly wondered whether there ought to be some way for people
on lists to indicate that they're new to posting even if they have been
reading a list for ages.  Learner drivers display an L-plate so the
experienced road-hogs can cut them a bit of slack and not carve them up too
viciously, and these days new drivers seem to display a green P-plate to
indicate "yes, I have passed my test but I'm still a bit nervous, please
don't hoot at me if I stall the car".  Maybe something like that might help
to boost the confidence of new arrivals at what amounts to a pub-gathering
where many of the people have known each other on-line and in person for
months or years.

How it would work I'm not sure, though, and how one would decide one had
truly "arrived" and no longer needed to display it would also be a dilemma.
But then I have always wondered how people decide when to take that green
P-plate off their car!

The other difficulty of course would be how new lurkers would discover what
the "I'm a new poster" sign was.  They might just lurk for ages wondering
why some posts had the letters "NP" at the top and feeling that the list
was full of coded signals they didn't understand.  Bother.

Any suggestions?  Would it work?  How would it work?  Would it help and
make life easier for new arrivals, or would it just make them feel even
more conspicuous?


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