Are You A Lurker?

According to wikipedia, lurker is defined as the following:
lurker is a person who reads discussions on a message board, newsgroup, chatroom, file sharing or other interactive system, but rarely participates.

So, are you a lurker?

I've noticed with blogging that the commenting process is--for many--some sort of personal validation. Validation that the post is actually available to real, breathing people on the real Internet (and not some scam by Google to trick us into sending our thoughts into the ether where they are only consumed by the Matrix who will someday take over our existence). Validation that those real, breathing people actually read, ponder, and even chuckle at what is written. I hear it over and over from my friends; apparently for (most) of us who blog, we are so unsure of our self worth that we can only be content with our web presence when other choose to provide witty feedback.

So my questions are twofold:
  1. Why? Why do I need this validation? I have a friend who hasn't even enabled comments on his blog because he does it purely for himself. He's obviously at some higher place of blogging-zen than I. Why is it, that I, as a very confident and outspoken person who is comfortable in front of large groups of people, feel like the number of comments I receive is important? (DISCLAIMER: In all truth, it's really not that important to me. I do--like my friend--write things mostly to just share with others. It's a sort of therapy, I think. And it's a techno-savvy method to actually keep a bit of a journal. But it's still a good topic for discussion.)
  2. Are you a lurker? Do you eagerly await new postings from your favorite authors (not necessarily me), only to read them, comment to yourself out loud (possibly chuckling and shaking your head), only to silently walk away without them having ever known of your reading presence? If you do, make a resolution to post a comment once in a while. On behalf of all the paranoid bloggers out there, we'll thank you for it.
To those of you who comment regularly, thanks. The self-doubting blogger community appreciates you keeping us from needing (even more) therapy!

Comments

Lori said…
Ha ha, it's so true. Why is it the comments are so important to a blogger's self-esteem. Mom and dad are always telling me how much they love my blog and seeing my pictures, and almost instantly in my head when they say that, I think, "well, it wouldnt kill you to comment on it then"...
I am really glad you and Jo started blogging. I've really enjoyed getting to know you better and feel updated on what's going on in your daily lives and whatnot.
Unknown said…
Yeah, I'm always curious by who ISN'T commenting. Folks, I work in web analytics: it's not hard for me to figure out who's on my blog! I'm pretty sure my in-laws have all been silent readers for about a year now. I have no idea why it bugs me, but it does.
Becky said…
I comments on the blogs of people who I know in real life- almost every post in fact. But there are a few blogs that I have found through other people- that I NEVER comment on, but they are some of my favorite blogs.
I love comments. They make me feel warm and fuzzy inside. lol
Its ALMOST as good as getting emails.
Jolayne said…
So, I would have to say that the first three comments on this blog are from the people who are "the best" at leaving comments. I keep waiting for my family to take the plunge and comment. So far nothing.
Mia said…
I lurk and I am deeply gratified by large number of comments. It's part of my social nature. I can socialize and still be with my family, but I like people to socailize back. A friend recently did a "give away" and she received about 75 posts from people who were previously lurkers, on top of the 20+ regular commenters she has. Crazy huh...
Brett said…
Since I've been called a blogging-zen master, I guess I better comment.

Yes it is true, I started blogging for myself, not for anyone else, although I'm glad to see others read my blog now.

I'm quite flattered that you'd spend 15 minutes of time on your blog concerned about why others aren't allowing comments on their blogs, such as myself.

I've turned comments off, however just because I have comments turned off, it doesn't mean I don't want to know who is reading my blog. Thanks to statcounter.com, I know who is hitting my blog. I can see which city a certain visitor is coming from and what website they came from. However it drives me crazy sometimes as I'm not sure who in Las Cruces, New Mexico is reading my blog and how they found out about it. Maybe if I had commenting turned on, they'd comment and tell me who they are.

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