An illustration of the three types of people: Conversation Starters initiating dialogue, Participants actively engaging, and Observers silently listening. These images symbolize the dynamic roles that individuals play at social events and within online communities. by Unknown

The Three Types of People in Conversations: A Guide to Engaging Your Audience

Understanding Conversation Starters, Participants, and Observers in the Digital World

written by

Unknown : an image by Unknown

The first is that there are three basic types of people.  There are people who start conversations.  There are people who participate in conversations.  Finally there are people who listen to conversations.

Think about the last time you were at a party or with a large group.  How many people participated in the organization of the event?  Those are your conversation starters.  Think about all the websites you have been to.  The articles are created by someone.  Those are the conversation starters.

Now at this party or family event think about all the people who are standing around in groups some start conversations.  “Who saw the game last Saturday?”  “Did anyone watch Transformers?”  Each of these questions are put out there by the conversation starters.  The people responding are in the people who are willing to take part in the conversation, but don’t feel like they can start the conversation.

Finally at this party we have people who hover from group to group to group, listening to what people are saying and taking it all in.  These people are your observers.  They want to hear what others are saying but, for various reasons, don’t want to participate in the conversation.

Now as I’m sure you are aware of, these roles change.  At some point in the evening you move from one category to another taking different roles as the conversation progresses.

So what does this all mean to someone who is running a website?  You must first have a place where you can start conversations.  You then need a way to have people participate in the conversation, and finally you must have a way for people to just ‘lurk’ watching the conversation take place.

Now lets say you have all these tools.  You have a blog which allows you to post.  You have a commenting system on that blog.  Finally, you don’t have any restrictions on people reading your blog.  What next?


With an account on the Fediverse or Mastodon, you can respond to this post. Since Mastodon is decentralized, you can use your existing account hosted by another Mastodon server or compatible platform if you don't have an account on this one. Known non-private replies are displayed below.


Connect your blog or website to this post via Webmentions. Link to this article and your response will appear below, fostering a web-wide discussion. Supports comments, likes, and reposts from any Webmention-enabled site.


Unlocking Value in the Workplace through Unrestricted Communication

A Four-Step Approach to Involve and Engage Your Audience


Bespreekbaarheid: The Missing Ingredient in IT Organizations

Explore the concept of Bespreekbaarheid, a Dutch term that encourages open dialogue and transparency, and discover why it's crucial for...

The Tasmanian Paradox: A Lesson in Collaboration and Innovation

An insightful look into the isolation of Tasmania's Aboriginal people 10,000 years ago and the loss of their technologies. This...

Defending the Commons: Lessons from Robin Hood on Building Community

A thoughtful exploration of the concept of community and the common good, using the story of Robin Hood as a...

Enhancing Collaboration in the Corporate World: A Comprehensive Model

This article explores the intricate dynamics of collaboration in a modern corporate environment. Through the lens of Information Technology, it...

Building Engaging Conversations: From Clueless to Creators

This article reveals the four categories of people in conversations and explores strategies to transform clueless individuals into engaged consumers,...

Bespreekbaarheid: The Missing Ingredient in IT Organizations

Explore the concept of Bespreekbaarheid, a Dutch term that encourages open dialogue and transparency, and discover why it's crucial for...

AI User Interfaces and Experiences in 2023

An in-depth analysis of Google's response to the AI competition and its impact on the tech landscape. Exploring the shift...

The Revolution of Mobile Computing: From Mainframes to Smartphones

This article explores the evolution of computing from mainframes to PCs, laptops, and ultimately to mobile phones. The author emphasizes...

The Future of Web-Based Computing: Revolutionizing the Creative Industry

This article showcases videos of a MacBook Pro running Windows 7 that launches complex applications like Photoshop and Unreal tournament...

Motorola's Project Ara: The Future of Modular Smartphones or a Doomed Venture?

The article explores Motorola's project Ara, an ambitious idea of creating smartphones with individual, purchasable components. While intriguing, the author...