Ton Zijlstra is thinking about the role of lurkers in online social networks, and whether they can in fact act as brifges to new and unknown groups of people: Lurking and Social Networks
“The most obvious characteristic of a lurker is that he’s at the fringe of a group, listening and observing. Being at the fringe may seem like a bad place from the core, but in fact is a good position to build bridges to other groups, and be aware of other groups in the vicinity. In a face to face setting like a pub or a meeting of some kind, a lurker is visible, often shortly introduced after which the focus of attention shifts to the established group members again.”
As is so often the case, this train of thought and the hand-drawn diagrams that accompany it were the result of good company and food.