This week we are celebrating the lurkers of RPG communities. Most site operators hope to convert lurkers into full-fledged members of their communities. in this guide, you will see how I made my own site, Hogwarts Rebirth, lurker friendly.
This first point is a rather controversial decision, but my site guest friendly. That mean guests can see every single post (except for common rooms) without having to log in. That way someone who is unsure of what the site is about, and don't know if it would work for them, can see exactly how the site functions.
Being guest friendly helps lurkers explore what the site has to offer. From seeing how classes run to how posts throughout the castle and surroundings work. By being guest friendly, lurkers are given to chance to preview and get ready to jump in. While this is not exactly measurable many members have commented to the staff that allowing them to read the topics before joining helped them to make the choice to join the site.
Questions and Answers
Many times guests and lurkers have questions, but there is not a place for them to contact the site. On the site, we made a guest friendly questions and answers forum. That anyone can ask a question, and once it has been moderated staff or members can answer and interact with the user.
We have found that by offering this forum, helps lurkers become more comfortable with the community before jumping in. They can see what types of general questions other students and staff have had. It also offers a medium to voice their own questions before making a final decision to jump in. My staff site has been an increase of new member joins from people who have asked questions before joining.
Unlike some sites, our discord completely open to anyone who wants to join. They don't even need to be a member of the site to join. We found it is a good way to interact with users and share what is happening on the site. We have hooks that auto share some posts and a house points feed that alerts the discord whenever new house points have been awarded via staff. Discord for lurkers offers a way to interact with the members of the site and gauge if we would be a good fit for them. The discord server also helps just build the community as a whole.
In short, we love our lurkers and guests. We want to interact with them and show them what the site is about. Join the discussion, how do you encourage lurkers on your site? We'd love to hear your opinions.
Edited by StormyWays13