Why Do You Lurk?

Today’s question: why do you lurk?

It’s going to be fascinating to see how your reasons match up with my own!

I’ve been thinking about the blogs and forums that I read. In some of them I’m an active participant, in others I’ve only ever silently read what other people post.

There are several reasons for this:

– The subject matter is something I know little about and I’m using the blog/website to change that.

– I’m planning to join in the conversation eventually but want to learn about how people interact there first.

– The site makes it difficult to give feedback by not allowing comments or requiring you to sign up (and maybe even pay for!) an account first.

– I have nothing useful to add to the conversation.

Some of the sites on my lurk-list espouse ideas with which I strongly disagree. I read what they have to say in order to better understand why they believe certain things. This isn’t at all about trying to poke holes in their logic or figuring out what to say to get them to convert to my One True Way ™ ( 😉 ), I’m simply ferociously curious about how minds work.

What makes perfect sense to one person is nonsense to another. For some of us the bright red line between sense and nonsense has shifted or is shifting. Why is this?

I’m also wondering about On the Other Hand’s lurkers. Why do you read without participating in the conversation?

(Photo credit.)








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7 Responses to Why Do You Lurk?

  1. One of the biggest reasons why I “lurk” is that I think a lot of people comment on the widely popular blogs just to be “seen.”  Often times, they don’t add anything meaningful or substantive.  It’s a mechanism for self-promotion.

    For example, I am a big Keith Olbermann fan and I visit his blog daily.  I have never left a comment and have no plans to.  So many of the comments are things like “Way to go, Keith” or “You said it!” or  “Right on.” 

    I have left comments of this nature before on less well-read blogs.  For me, it is a difference between self-promotion/piling on versus letting a lesser known writer know that someone is reading/enjoying what they have taken the time to share.

  2.  I am the opposite of you. If I have something to say, I say it. Apparently, I don’t care if my comments will be well received or not. I think our on-line personality is an extension of our real-life selves. If you’re timid off-line you’re timid on-line.  

    BTW, I tried to post a comment here last week, and I couldn’t. The dialog box didn’t show up. Maybe Discus was down or something. 

  3. Like what Lorena suggests, I am more of an observer in life, so I do just observe many blogs. Like the Rambling Taoist, I too have posted encouragement and appreciation for lessor known writers which I would not do for well-known ones. Often, I simply agree, but posting “Me too” is lame.  Like you, I visit some sites with much different opinions than my own, and I choose not to post there because it will come to no good.

    As for the shift to nonsense, I think that’s due to our modern conveniences, like the ability to select news organizations which only bolster your own crazy beliefs.  :-p

  4. I lurk mostly because I’m interested in the subject at hand. I comment to find out more about the subject, interact with others about it, or to encourage the poster. Or I comment if there’s a specific question the blogger asks, like this one.   So there are a lot of times I just read along to see what’s going on.

    The shift from what makes sense to what is nonsense for me is due to my changing world view and beliefs. When I was all fundy it made sense to oppose gay marriage – now that’s seems like a whole lot of nonsense to me. To deny someone the basic right to enjoy a monogamous relationship with the person they love? Just because they happen to have the same equipment? Nonsense I tell ya! 🙂

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