A few common ones…

  • The contrarian guy (typically is a guy, sorry). Takes contrary stances either for attention, because of genuine beliefs, or just to stir things up.
  • The grouchy old timer. Feels things are getting worse. Rarely backs down in an argument. Assumes their expertise means s/he is right because they were here 10+ years ago.
  • The passionate newcomer. Very excited (and excitable). Low expertise, but high rates of participation.
  • The one-poster. Will come only when they have a problem. Won’t help others. Probably won’t explain if the answer helped them.
  • The helper. Genuinely likes to help support the community. Typically wants to feel closer to the brand.
  • The single-issue poster. Will only post about a single topic. Often with an opinion of that topic several standard deviations from the norm.
  • The ‘know-it-all’. Less grouchy than old-timers, but always assumes they are right and states opinions as definitive facts rather than “I think…” or “I’ve seen…”. Can share expertise, but tend to bash other members to maintain their own status.
  • The super enthusiastic. Posts non-stop. Doesn’t add much value, but gets your post count up. Often antagonises others through sheer volume of posts.
  • The true expert. Rarely participates, mostly keen to engage only with others they consider experts.

It’s not an exhaustive list, feel free to add your own.

But I’d be surprised if the next member you engage with doesn’t closely match one of the archetypes above.

p.s. treating every member the same doesn’t work when members are so different from one another.

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