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Why Join ABX When You Can Lurk?

Introduction

Just over 4 year ago I was what I considered to be a "Computer Enthusiast" of the time. Unfortunately there were very few of my friends and associates then that shared the same enthusiasm. One day while surfing the web, I ran across a computer forum called CUSL2.com. I began to hang out there (lurk) and read a few of the posts this site had to offer, since I was a proud owner of the Asus CUSL2 mother board. The more I read, the more I found out just what I didn't know about computers and especially products to enhance their performance; suffice it to say I was hooked and in a few days joined this forum.

After several name changes to convey the broader scope of this forum and to help people realize that we were not in anyway associated with the company ASUS, the forums name was changed to ABXZone.com. Membership grew from the 2,000 or so members we had when I joined, to the just over 27,000 members we have today. In addition to our regular members we have somewhere between 100,000 and 150,000 monthly visits to our forum by guests, or more appropriately "lurkers". Lurkers can best be defined as: Those that like the material contained in the forum so well that they visit us on a regular basis, but have yet to make a commitment to join. Lurkers are not only potential members, but also untapped assets to this forum.

In the four years since I joined this forum, I've built 30 or so computers for others and myself and have become much better informed about the world of computing. Much more importantly though I've met some absolutely incredible people who are very intelligent and really enjoy helping others learn. Most have unbelievable patience as many of today's new forum members are just as anal (or even more so) than I was and they like I thought they had done their homework; only to find out differently.

Today's users have much more to choose from than I did just four years ago. There are forums of every description, variation, and color out there specializing in every minuscule detail of the manly art of computing. These forums also attract a vast array of very interesting people from just about every walk of life imaginable whose reasons for participation are varied. I have made many a good friend (and I'm not talking the "virtual type") as a result of my participation.

What Can a Forum Offer You?

What can a forum offer you? The answers to that question are just about as varied as whose going to win the next "World Cup". I'll endeavor to name a few that immediately come to mind: