L is for Lurking




I know you’re out there. Don’t be shy. I probably spent the first several months of my time here in the blogosphere doing exactly the same thing – reading everybody’s post, but leaving without making my presence known…too insecure to leave a comment. You know what that’s called…right? Lurking. The word has a negative connotation, sounding rather sinister, but in fact the act is usually harmless.

If you monitor your blog views (and who doesn’t), then you know if you experience 200 views but only 10 people leave a comment – then you might have had some Lurkers stop by. I say ‘might have’ because just stopping by a blog and leaving without commenting doesn’t make you a lurker in my book. You’re just a routine visitor. You cross over into the Lurking category when you consistently visit without interacting.

But still, that is not a bad thing – at least I hope not because I used to do it A LOT, and in fact I still do it to some degree. I routinely visit a few well-known published authors’ blogs, as well as a few other industry professionals, and I don’t comment on any of them. Why…you ask? A combination of reasons, but the two that stand out is that I feel my comment would get lost in the landslide of responses these sites usually garner, and I don’t have an original opinion or viewpoint that hasn’t already been expressed. I know…I know…those are ridiculous excuses. When I think about my own blog, I would be disappointed if a reader felt their comment wasn’t receiving the attention it deserved – or that they remained mute instead of voicing an opinion, no matter how many times it had been stated previously. And if I feel that way, I’m sure the authors and other sites I visit do the same.

So I’m taking my own advice and de-lurking. Maybe you can do the same and make yourself known here.

I still believe that remaining Lurking isn’t always a bad thing…but there comes a time when we all need to step out of the shadows.

8 comments

  1. I lurked a lot when I first started blogging too. I was overwhelmed and intimidated. Now, it's easier to interact and to share :)

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  2. I have on occasion remained silent if I feel what I wanted to say has already been said (and if there were lots of responses). I don't want just to say "hello", but maybe that is allowed sometimes, just to show you had read the post!

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  3. I do lurk on some blogs, especially if I feel I have nothing to add and they're more well known. But eh. Sometimes it's just because I don't have the time to make a comment :)

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  4. I don't lurk. I let my presence be known. ;)

    I get a lot of views too and wonder who all of these invisible people are. lol

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  5. Those are ridiculous excuses! Comment anyway.

    For every five views, I get a comment, so that's not bad.

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  6. Ah lurking. Is it OK, if I go off a bit on this. I sometimes lurk. Mainly because my 'smart phone' doesn't let me make comments on most blogs. So, when I can't sleep either late at night, or early in the morning I read blogs. Usually, with my friends, I try to go back and comment, but often I forget, or simply don't have the time during the day when my computer is open. If someone is a 'friend' and the have interesting posts, at least most of the time, I really make the effort. I too have fell victim to the, 'I don't have anything original to say' or the 'I'm intimidated by this persons verbal acuity, success, etc, etc, etc. But, over time I have gotten better.

    BUT, there is something else that kind of goes along these same lines. Let me preface this by saying; I get the whole A to Z thing and realize that during this time most people don't have time to reply to every comment left on their blog, but in the past I used to be one of those who really loved to get and read the comments left at my space, but rarely did I reply. when I did reply, it was often a group type comment like, 'thank you all for stopping by, I really appreciate it' and that was it. I have since mended my ways and try to make a personal reply to each comment left at my space. Sometimes, it will take me a day or two, but I DO get back to everyone. Sometimes, it will be just a few words, but often that's to those comments that are also, just a few words. Sometimes I have gotten into lengthy discussions with someone, who BTW actually came back to see my reply. Sometimes other bloggers comment on another comment and there is a multiple way discussion going on. This is when the fun really begins, ideas are exchanged, and I hope, we all benefit from the experience.

    OK, I'm finished now. I hope that wasn't rude, just my thoughts.
    It may just be me, and we all know I'm strange, but that's what I think blogging is all about; an interesting exchange between parties of like interests. Kind of like a conversation at a party, not a lecture. In other words 'lurking' is a two way street.

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  7. Okay, you caught me. Shyness? Is that an okay excuse. Silly, right? How can you be anonymously shy? Anyway,apparently there is something called Comment Etiquette. I found this out soon after I started blogging. I admit I was intimidated. Afraid I would comment the wrong way. Comment Etiquette Rule Number 12, Never just say ‘hello’, or ‘just stopping by’. I think that rule has something to do with the blogger feeling that the commenter is self promoting. But today I’m going to break that rule. So, Hello. Just stopping by. BTW, I don’t get many comments on my blog, but I do always answer. I often wonder how many folks go back to read the responses to their comments.

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  8. As a visitor, I usually don't comment unless I have something to say that hasn't been said already (and I can articulate myself without too much trouble). As a blogger, comments are nice, but the mere fact that someone is reading what I have posted is enough. I'll allow the "just stopping by" ones, but I prefer something a little more in-depth.

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