Here are a few of the major stakeholders that gather around any social media effort. Each role can be further divided into sub roles who specialize in particular kinds of behavior like starting discussions, arguments, or answering questions. Each stakeholder has information needs that are related but somewhat different from other stakeholders. Building effective social media systems requires delivering the right information to each population.
Hosts pay for the servers and want R.O.I. They need to track impact of various kinds of investment in the community and decide where and how allocate resources
Managers - May have a presence in the community and want to demonstrate R.O.I. and get positive responses from customers. They need to target moderation, software and hardware resources.
Leaders provide answers, social support, institutional memory, and police the space. Want visibility and recognition for their efforts. They spend a significant amount of their personal and/or work time contributing content for the community. They write FAQ, how-to articles, shares code, etc.
Participants show up in the community, discussing topics, generating questions, providing answers, contributing with content and code (lightly!) Often looking for help, they have various levels of expertise, expect quick and accurate answers. They want guidance to high quality community content.
Silent searchers do not contribute or ask questions, they just consume the product of the interaction of the leaders and questioners, searching for previous answers to similar problems.
Researchers track a series of indicators and make sure that the reason for people to join, participate and revisit are strong. They explore patterns and structures in the community datasets and experiment with new interfaces and analysis.