Posting, Lurking, and Networking: Behaviors and Characteristics of Consumers in the Context of User-Generated Content

Margaret A. Morrison, Hyuk Jun Cheong and Sally J. McMillan
University of Tennessee

One of the most noticeable characteristics of the evolving online environment—often referred to as Web 2.0—is the advent of the online spaces that have enabled consumers to post comments, blog, and interact with other Internet users regarding products and brands. The spaces have been built; the users have come. Some have generated content, and some have read that content. However, beyond demographics, what do we really know about the consumers who participate in user-generated content (UGC) sites? Who are they? How do they use online content at those sites? What underlying factors drive their online behaviors? This study attempts to shed light on a variety of aspects of UGC participants by answering these questions.