So here is a topic I have wanted to discuss for quite some time now: Lurking! Whenever I hear that term I get an ominous picture in my head of someone hiding in the shadows, just watching. According to wikipedia's definition, " a lurker is a person who reads discussions on a message board, newsgroup, chatroom, file sharing or other interactive system, but rarely participates."
I think that everyone, to some extent, is a lurker. Take me, for example. I have blogs I regularly read and so I comment on them. It helps that most of the blogs I read are those of my friends and family, so it is less intimidating to respond to what they write. But then there are other blogs of strangers that I stumble upon and read a little, but don't comment, even if I feel I have something to say about the topic. It feels safe to just click from one blog to the next, reading snippets of other's lives without interacting. If I find a blog that I really like, I still hesitate before commenting, instead, reading through posts, and "getting to know" the person and the blog before I comment. If I like what I read enough, I will revisit the blog several times and finally work up my courage to delurk (" The verb to "de-lurk" means to start contributing actively to a community having been a lurker previously").
On this blog I have several faithful commenters who respond to what I write on a pretty regular basis. But I have a feeling that there are several people out there who know me in real life, yet still have not commented. My husband is one of these lurkers, and try and plead as I might, he will not comment! But at least I get his comments in person. And I wonder if there are other regular visitors out there that I don't know in real life.
I acknowledge that you have a "right" to lurk, and when I put myself out there, you don't have an obligation to respond. But I must admit that I like the feedback. And frankly, if I didn't want comments I would keep my blog private.
So today I invite you to take the plunge and delurk! I will give you a hand with this question- What kind of lurker are you? If you lurk, what makes you finally decide to delurk?
And as an added bonus for delurking, I will come visit your blog and comment as well! It's a win-win!