Lurker Concentration
This thread belongs to

2009-06-05 19:28 GMT   |   #1
Not having run many forums, I’m curious what the general concentration of “lurkers” are in other forums? By this, I mean the number of members with zero posts divided by the total number of members.

For me my lurker concentration is 56%.

If I were to include members with just 1 post, that percentage goes up to 66%.
2009-06-05 21:29 GMT   |   #2

The larger the forum, the larger the percentage of lurkers in my experience. When I started I had about 65% of my users posting. Now I have about 55% posting. If I do as you did and remove users with only one post then my posting percentage drops to 42%. That would mean my lurker percentage is 45%, or 58% if I remove users with only one post.
2009-06-05 21:54 GMT   |   #3

Just look at They don't remove users - they have over 350 000 users right now. And I'm sure most of them are lurkers, could you imagine how busy this forum would be if all of them were active. :shock:

It tends to be larger boards that get lurkers around. I've seen a lot of users here that might post in General Discussion or the Test Me forum once, and then never come back.
2009-06-05 22:10 GMT   |   #4
I would actually tend to think that aside from the first few months of a forum’s life and barring any sort extraordinary limitations to membership (e.g., forced postings, fees, etc.), the lurker concentration should stabilize at some percentage. – regardless of the size of a forum.

Take my math with a grain of salt here but it would appear phpbb’s lurker concentration is at 41%.

Granted, I just assumed 25 members per page, sorted by posts, and found the page where it broke even – 8,291 at the time of writing. So 8,290 pages x 25 memebrs per page + the 21 members on page 8,291 = 207,271 members with at least 1 post. Divided by the 351,707 total members as of the time of writing got me 59%. 1 minus that would be the lurker concentration.

And believe it or not, yes, I do have a day job! ... curiosity always gets me that’s all :D
2009-06-06 03:29 GMT   |   #5
I've modified your metric slightly. You need to exclude accounts that have not been activated, for they are not lurkers, they are just incomplete registrations. Thus on my forum of 26202 users, there's only 9310 who have no posts (and are activated), and 15130 with at least one post for a lurk factor of 61.5% (Including the other 1762 non-active users pushes this to 73.2%). This is for a forum that's something near 9 years old :)

2009-06-06 03:39 GMT   |   #6
NINE years old??? I didn't even think Al Gore had invented the interwebs yet!! :lol:
2009-06-06 04:15 GMT   |   #7
youngjediknight wrote:NINE years old??? I didn't even think Al Gore had invented the interwebs yet!! :lol:

It's a bit scarier than that. It's still a phpBB2 install that was converted from Ikonboard in 2000; the Ikonboard was running from about the beginning of 1999.. ;)

My next mission is to convert it to 3.0, but it's not that simple...

2009-06-06 17:12 GMT   |   #8

Following similar calculations our lurker concentration for a 3 year old community is about 50%. But that could be a bit skewed, because there was a non-posting member purge a few years back (before my time there). Our community produces a lot of content that is lurker friendly, so many of our lurkers log in regularly to read, but never post (and there are some reasons for that too).
2009-06-08 00:20 GMT   |   #9

To lurk or not to lurk, is this the question?
2009-06-10 01:25 GMT   |   #10
I tend to lurk more then post, you do have two ears and one mouth; they are to be used in that proportion.

(It looses it's meaning over the internet)

1 2nextlast