Online community ~ the journey to participation

An article available to members of the Australian Psychological Society proposed the following process for moving from non-member to actively participating in an online community:


[Information courtesy of the APS and Craig Erray, Managing Director of PTG Global]

What I found interesting about the suggested migration is where I find myself hovering – between ‘regular observer’ and ‘occasional participating member’.

The questions of “Do I want to join?” and “Do I have something worth contributing?” are closely entwined.  I find myself writing posts only to leave them unpublished as I question their value.  I hover between the desire to contribute and the fear of joining the hordes of “here is what I had for dinner”.

This ties in with GG’s blog comment about formal and informal learning.  Would I be concerned if this was an informal network that I was already familiar with, had a sense of the participants and a better feel for what constitutes ‘value’?

I am curious as to how others see the above process.  Do you agree?  Or would you suggest something different based on your experiences?