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The Lurker, Collaborator, Contributor or Creator.

What characters are the building blocks for your community?

Anna Grigoryan
Anna Grigoryan
4 min read
The Lurker, Collaborator, Contributor or Creator.

Table of Contents

You know each friend-group has tropes, the fun person, the one who's taking the jokes seriously, the one who never comes to meetups but always proposes one (yes this one is me, don't come for me). Just like a friend group communities also have some staple characters.

In today's article let's talk about different kinds of members you can see on communities, how to engage with them and understand their journey.

Identifying this groups can be challenging that's why let's focus on a specific example that you can also extend to your community.

example: a discord community for gamers

Now let's meet our characters.



I think for non community people Lurker is the hardest concept to grasp. Lurkers are the members who are very actively interacting with the community content and materials. They read the blogs, they listen to podcast, however, they don't interact with other members and don't engage in the events and so on.

It's not bad to have Lurkers in your community. You can't possibly engage everyone and some members will be just lurking around, finding the value they need and leaving.

How to engage the Lurker 👀

Community managers usually want more engagement, and engaging a Lurker is one of the ways to improve some metrics for your community.

In our particular discord community the Lurkers can be centered in one specific role.

Here are 2 ways that you can engage the Lurkers.

1) Talking to them - groundbreaking I know!

It's important to understand what is the reason they are not active in the community or are just looking around without contributing/collaborating.

The reasons can be:

  • they get all the value they need (from shared materials or knowledge base) and they don't need to collaborate.
  • they joined the community with different expectations

... or they can just ignore the message from you.

2) Launching a specific campaign targeting their role

In case of discord communities the community manager can actually create a space that is dedicated to a specific role.

Creating a contest, event-series or dedicating specific newsletter issue to this group can be a good way to engage people.



Collaborators are very easily spotted. Those members are eager to comment or talk to other members, share their experiences and find connections in your community.

They share their blog posts, recommend tools, and reach out for help. Collaborators are the superstars of any community. They keep the engine running with their energy.

How to engage a Collaborator 👭

Collaborators like to share their experiences and knowledge. Create a ritual inside your community where people are encouraged to share the achievements or "best of the best". The rituals don't need to be something fancy. Weekly reminders can be enough. For our discord community for gamers, examples can be:

  • "Share the best game you played last month" / "Share the best game you played ever" / "What's your personal record"
  • "Share your streaming setup"
  • "How to build audience around X game"



Community can not only be a place where people are sharing their experiences and learning from each other. But also a place where you as community manager can find support. Contributors are members that are eager to help you grow the community, and contribute to the process (pretty self-explanatory).

Contributors can share their experiences on your community in form of articles and podcast episodes. Also it's not always about writing content for your community, Contributors are also eager to share connections and make introductions.

Usually Contributors are formed into a founding core group of members inside the community.

How to engage the Contributor ✍️

If you as a community manager need help engaging a Contributor is as easy as to ask. Determine what is the support you need. Is there a compensation for the support and etc.

In case of our discord community the Contributors can:

  • participate in form of becoming co-host for your events,
  • support your community during launches,
  • contribute to hackathons or help design hackathons for creating games, etc.



Co-creators are the heart, soul and word-of-mouth of each community. These members are creating connections, collaborating with you and other members. Co-creators are the superusers of your community. They are collaborating not only with you, and contribute to the growth of the community, bud also start projects and create relationships with other members.

Your community becomes the playgroud for those members. What is better then knowing that your community is the environment where new projects are created?

How to engage the Co-Creator 🍏

To spot the creators in the community you just need to be open to them and their contribution. In case of our community the co-creators can be spotted with the following simple rituals:

  • starting (or opening permissions for members to start) a small support groups inside your community,
  • hackathons where members can self-organize in small creative teams and create projects together.

Create a culture of open experimentation and sharing. Co-creators usually will not leave that without attention.

Did you spot some patterns with your community? What characters you have the most?

Let me know in comments below!

With love from Armenia.


Anna Grigoryan

Writer, engineer and recovering over-achiever. I bring context into creator economy with Community Weekly newsletter, and help people discover best podcasts out there with Kradl.