Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Do You Lurk?

Sometimes I forget just how big the world is - the Internet has a way of distilling it, so to speak. For example, some of the bloggers I read on a daily basis are located all over the country and overseas. Yet with the click of a button, I can read their thoughts and ideas.

Blogging, MySpace, Facebook, and other social areas have further reduced the distance between us. In many ways, this is wonderful - people are connecting and sharing ideas like never before. Unfortunately, there is also a downside to this - it's a lot easier to insult someone, air your negative opinion, and generally be nasty to others when we're all sitting behind a computer instead of talking face to face.

When I look at my SiteMeter, I often marvel at how people got to my blog, at what search words they type in, what country they're from, etc. And it also brings up the question of lurking. I have many more visitors (as I'm sure most of us do) who don't comment than those who do. I'll admit, there are times when I'll visit a different blog and not leave a comment. And for me, it's because blogs are personal. I would rather visit a few times, get to know the person first, and then leave a comment rather than just comment and then forget to visit again.

(I just realized that if you look at the word "lurk" for a long time, it begins to look and sound really, really weird...or maybe I just haven't had enough caffeine yet)

With the impersonal nature of the Internet (to a certain extent) and the ease of being able to come out of de-lurk mode, why is it so hard for some of us to actually "de-lurk?"

Interested in your thoughts...(and yes, this is a call to come out of "lurk" mode!)


  1. I do a lot of blog visiting. I try to leave a supportive comment, if I can. Sometimes, on Blogger, I can't, because it won't let me sign in; sometimes the blog just isn't my cup of tea, so I move on without aaying anything.

    Of course, on some days, I simply have nothing to say, so I don't comment anyway . . .

  2. My time seems to have dried up recently. I do lurk. I do try to not write anything hurtful. I don't like being mean. :)

  3. I think a lot of people lurk for time issues. It's easy to zip in, read, zip out. But once you de-lurk, you're engaged. Engaging takes more time. Just a theory. And if I had more time I might even expound on it. ;)

  4. I lurk on some blogs, and comment all the time on other blogs. Some of it depends on how much I enjoy the blog. Some of it depends on how much of a community the commenters have, if the blogger comes and posts in the comments and comments on comments. (man, did that make sense?? LOL).

    I lurk on a lot of forums though, just looking for information.

  5. I too get a lot of lurkers, and I don't leave comments every time a visit a blog but I try to often enough to let my fellow bloggers know I am still around.

  6. If I'm at work, as I am now, I don't always get time to comment. But I do when I have the time and when something in the blog engages me.

  7. Yeah - what Kelly said. Coming up with comments (appropriate ones) isn't always easy. And these days, even time to crawl the blogs is scarce! That's why I do like Facebook - I can post a status update and everyone sees it. Similarly, I can scan all the status updates for my friends on one page.

  8. It's interesting to see everyone's take on the whole "comments" and "lurking" issue. I confess, there's days I just don't feel like commenting, but then I feel bad!

  9. Anonymous6:09 PM

    Sometimes I don't comment because I feel like doing so would be intrusive. Silly thought, though, because I always welcome comments on my blog!


  10. I tend to behave online as I do in real life. If there's a large group, I'm less involved. If it's one on one, and I like you, I'll pipe up. It's funny how people think being online gives them a different persona, but for me, it's all the same.

  11. I tend to behave online as I do in real life. If there's a large group, I'm less involved. If it's one on one, and I like you, I'll pipe up. It's funny how people think being online gives them a different persona, but for me, it's all the same.

  12. RT - I've felt the same way! Sometimes when there are a lot of comments, I feel like I'm intruding on the conversation - in other words, it's like walking up to a group of people that all know each other but don't know ME and suddenly contributing to the discussion.

    Marty, I think I am more apt to participate on the Internet then in real life. I tend to be pretty shy in person - unless I am very comfortable with whoever I'm around. :-)

  13. I have a lot of lurkers too. I find I get far more emails from people commenting on my blog than I do comments.

    I think though that it's a time issue. It's easy to go to a blog, read it, go to another blog...

    And sometimes, believe it or not, I don't have anything to say. :o)

  14. There are days when I truly can't think of anything to say, either. :-) (My husband would be ASTONISHED by this bit of info!)


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