Lurkers: Why do bloggers lurk?

 Why do people lurk? I confess I may be guilty of this on rare occasions because I skim a post or two on other blogs but don’t comment. This is  not because I don’t want to, but most of the time I’m not sufficiently interested to comment. But when I am I do comment, sometimes at length.

Some bloggers have said that they lurk and don’t comment because they don’t know their way around a site. Others are intimidated because everyone else on the site seems to be familiar with each other and they’re shy about bringing attention to themselves.

Are you a lurker? Why? I realize responding to this post will take you out of your comfort zone if you have never commented before, but I’m really interested in why people lurk and don’t comment on blog posts when they already take the time to access the blog. This site has many lurkers. How do I know this?  I check the daily statistics against the number of comments on the posts and the proportion of people who comment compared to those who lurk is so small it’s not worth repeating.

If you’re shy, how can I make it more comfortable for you to comment on the blog posts? I think we offer a lot of variety and different topics to interest even the most discerning or casual visitor as well as a lot of fun posts, and although many of you comment (probably more than on other sites) I think there is room for improvement. I value the contribution of everyone who accesses the site and one thing you can be assured of is that you won’t be insulted if you offer dissenting opinions from the majority of posters as long as you’re polite. One of the rules of this site is that posters have to be polite to each other or their invitation to post is revoked.  (I have only done that once because a blogger was insulting a guest reviewer). There are no wank fests here!!! 😀

To keep the site current I usually invite  bloggers to give me suggestions for new posts and your suggestion could be the next blog post. Is there something I’m missing? I consider everyone’s contribution to be valuable and I try to be a good blog owner. Many of you tell me that this is the first site you log on to every morning or evening or even when you’re supposed to be working 😀

Looking forward to hearing from you or I’ll send my dog Snoopy to come get you.

Author

I live in Canada and I love big dogs, music, movies, reading and sports – especially baseball

98 comments

  • I missed this post completely. I think many people are put off by the wank they see everywhere on the net, and are worried about giving their opinions because they feel they might be flamed down. I have to say that your blog is one of the few blogs – and possibly the only writerly blog I know that dissaudes wank. Like my own LJ it encourages lively debate and lets people give their view but doesn’t tolerate personal attacks, so all the lurkers should feel reassured of that.

    Secondly some of it is complacency. My own internet friends hardly comment here any more, even when I advertise on my blog because they know me and consider that I won’t care whether they do or not!!

    Some people have said to me that they think their views aren’t important enough to be heard, which is not true, any view is important, imho. Or that they are too shy – or they think the blogger is “too important” to be interested in anything they have to say. Er. No! 🙂

    It’s great to see such a good response to this post, and subsequently an increase in comments in general. Hurrah!

    • Hi Erastes
      Thanks for commenting. One of the qualities I admire about you is that you always comment if you find a post interesting.
      *
      I have always wondered why most people don’t comment, other than being shy, and this post really opened my eyes. As you know, a large percentage of the bloggers who log on to this site live in countries where English is not their first language and I found out they are concerned that their command of the language may not be up to par. I admire them for writing in English because I could not write in their labnguage – I barely know a little French I’m ashamed to say, even though I live in a bilingual country.
      *
      Some of the bloggers are intimidated by the number of authors who hang out here because they think you guys will be condescending or stuck up. 🙂 I give them my usual talk about everyone putting on their pants one leg at a time.

      *
      I consider all of the bloggers who log on here to be important and I treat them the same way I treat my clients – I need their feedback to know if I’m doing a good job and the only way I’ll know that is if they comment.

      *
      I hope that the bloggers will continue to comment – as you say, there has been a marked increase in comments this week. 🙂 I think I’ll just have to give them a gentle reminder whenever they go into “sleep” mode.

  • I’m a notorious lurker from way back (not on this blog, but on others), but I’ll try to post here as often as possible. I just found this blog through Torquere Press’ Happy Hour’s Journal, so I will be looking through your archives, and hopefully checking the new stuff every day. I must say, from what I’ve read already, this is a very friendly place.

    • Countrygirl
      I’m so happy you responded to this post. I try my best to encourage lurkers to comment – the first time is always the hardest.
      *
      We are very friendly – sometimes too much so.
      *
      There’s a lot of good stuff in the archives. Many bloggers are still responding to posts I did over a year ago.

      *
      Welcome and I hope you stick around.

  • This blog is always a wonderful read! Thank you all.
    But as for lurking, many of the reasons above apply: time constraints, posting-shyness, redundancy, time lapse etc. but mostly it’s the lack of time, and a wonky internet connection.

    But, truth be told, I do find it frustratingly difficult trying to convey my thoughts and ideas into written words the way I want to. It’s like they fly from my head off into outer space and before an answer is trickling through my fingers huge chunks of my reasoning seem to be missing. By that time someone else has made a point in a more entertaining and concise way, or it’s been a week!
    I also have a talent of putting my foot in my mouth, and find myself oddly defenseless if someone takes my comments the wrong way when I’ve meant no harm. My usual way of communicating is rapid mouth fire and the visual arts, writing… not so much. I’m down right crappy in the latter, and as I delight in reading comments that do and can I feel I should ruthlessly delete my own filler comments before posting. Maybe I should draw my answers, at least I wouldn’t have to tear so much hair.

    • Kady
      Thank you for commenting.
      *

      >>But, truth be told, I do find it frustratingly difficult trying to convey my thoughts and ideas into written words the way I want to. It’s like they fly from my head off into outer space and before an answer is trickling through my fingers huge chunks of my reasoning seem to be missing. < < * I think you're being too hard on yourself. We all experience this and it doesn't matter if what you say is not said perfectly, as long as you express your thoughts. You did very well here. 🙂 and I hope you'll comment again when you have the time or see something you would like to talk about. * Have a wonderful evening.

  • Well, I mostly lurk for two reasons… 1. I don’t feel as if I have anything interesting to add. I’ll start typing something, read it before posting and decide it sounds dumb; so it gets deleted. 2. I always feel like the new kid. It seems that everyone has a previous relationship; with all the inside stuff I’m not privy to, so I just would rather feel stuff out before jumping in.

    I do buy a lot of the books I see reviewed here, so I appreciate all the work everyone puts in.

  • There are a number of reasons (and I’ve only recently subscribed)

    – I get the blog through the rss feed and and I have to actually go to the post to comment

    – Rarely feel the need to comment on reviews

    – Often, by the time I have time to get to the site, someone may have expressed an opinion very similar to mine — and I dislike me too posts.

    – socially inept :0 — well not really , just more a watcher than a performer. I tend to be a bit streaky about how verbal I want to be.

    – I’m a reader, not a writer

    Just my 2 cents.

    • Hi Beau
      Thank you for writing.
      >>Rarely feel the need to comment on reviews< < >>I’m a reader, not a writer< < It's always good to know why people lurk and I realize that not everyone likes to comment in a public forum (but you're doing really well today) 🙂 Your reasons for not posting are quite valid and I respect them all, especially this one >>just more a watcher than a performer.< < ** I appreciate you responding to this post and I hope that occasionally, when you feel the urge, that you will respond to others. Have a good evening.

  • Similar to what others have said, it’s usually 1) a time constraint issue 2) a post that I see as informational (like reviews) where I don’t have an opinion or response other than “thank you” or “great post” (which I’m sure you’d like to hear more of). On this site, for me, it isn’t an issue of not feeling welcome to post. You do a great job encouraging comments and have always made me feel welcome when I do comment.

    I’d say the number of visits and the number of us that keep coming back to the site shows that you have strong, interesting content/reviews. Maybe this post will encourage those who were unsure about posting that this is truly a friendly, welcoming blog.

    • Hi Sloan
      You do comment whenever a post interests you and provide a lot of feedback or ask questions, which is what we like. I don’t expect you or anyone else to comment on all the reviews or other blog posts because that would be a full time job 😀 Just an occasional nod so that we know you’re out there on the interwebz would be wonderful.
      *
      Thank you.

  • I’m one of those “rarely posts” people, I think, but generally by the time I get over here, everyone else has already said what I’m thinking. I’m more the “comment when I strongly agree or disagree” sort, rather than the “chime in with ‘oh, cool post’ at will” type. *blushes*

    * *

    That said, I’ll TRY to comment more if you really want me to, though I do tend to get rather wordy. LOL

    ~Tis

    • TC
      We don’t mind wordy and you can post just whenever there’s something of interest, like a hot looking guy – that works. 😀

  • Mary
    >>Then, one last reason very typical of me that might add to your “lurkers” statistics, is that I often open a post to read it and comment on it, then I have to close the window before I do so. Then I open it again later in the day, but my computer freezes and I have to start everything over. I open it again when I get home then start anwering my mails and when I come to turn off my computer I remember the post and decide I’m to tired and will comment on the post the next day. And so on.< < * You are one of the most faithful posters on this site and you have always been supportive. However you do recall me saying that you probably need your own computer and maybe you should leave your Dad's alone, don't you? 😀 * All of the reasons you gave for not commenting are valid - some sites are too big - you want to write an extensive well thought out comment etc. There is also RL. My main concern is about the reviews. The guest reviewers spend a great deal of time and effort reading the books and writing indepth reviews (not just 4 lines about a 350 page book) and I feel badly when there are maybe 4 comments compared to 200 "views." * Thanks for commenting Mary. I do appreciate the time.

  • One of my reasons for only following a few blogs is the time restraint. Personally I rather follow a few blogs more closely then 100 from afar.
    I have more bookmarked but only look at them when I have the time to do so.

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