Lurking Defined

January 5, 2008 at 9:06 pm 14 comments

community.jpgAlrighty then.  There are a lot of new locals bloggers and blog readers around, and being the ancient “oh wise one” (Lord, help us all) having- blogged- for- a- while person…I feel compelled to speak on behalf of the new blog community. 

“Lurking” is when you read someone’s blog and never comment

It is known this happens.  YET, when a blog writer looks at blog stats and sees numbers rising and yet commentors are silent, it’s a bit disconcerting to pour your heart out to God knows who.  You can only imagine.

Realize that if there is a sense of “knowing who’s there” /community, it feels healthy.  Otherwise…it can begin to feel a bit strange.

Who?  Men and women can all comment on our blogs.  It is open community, and all may and do comment.  Use good judgment like you would with anything else. 

The goal:   If a sense of community is reached, prayer needs can be shared, authenticity can be trusted and grow, and real life is shared.  If not, well…just know none of us do it to be on a stage.  Blogging helps us stay focused, thankful, and moving forward.  It helps us celebrate, connect, clear the cobwebs, and do something a little different in a day.

Blogging:  Healthy blogging is about life, community, interaction, shared thoughts, opinions, and ideas. We grow and learn when we talk.  We can discuss, agree/disagree, or just say, “loved the post”. 

HOW:  It only takes a name and email address to comment.  It takes 10 seconds.  You can do it.  No…you don’t have to comment on every single post you read, or everyday, but do try to build friendships and let people know you value their sharing and thoughts, say once a week if you read often, a few times a month if they post daily.

My thoughts:  In December there were a lot of people coming by here, so I shut off comments.  I was unable to keep up with anything extra.  There was a spike of 1300 or so people a day due to some seasonal posts I’ve listed in the past that get picked up in Google listings.  But, as a whole, about 300-400 fly by here every day, and yet there are 2 comments are so.  That’s not proportional to the traffic.  Yeah, I could ask a bunch of questions, but I don’t.  I’ve grown comfortable with the ins and outs of comments and I don’t mind so much anymore.  Especially for new bloggers, it’s important to have that sense that what you are doing matters.

Comparison:  Knowing who is around is helpful. Would we ask a pastor to preach blindfolded?  (Perhaps there are weeks he’d prefer it!  I hope not!)

So, lurkers, feedback is valuable, important, some say indespensable in blogging.  Be funny.  Be expressive.  Mainly…just be there.

To blog writers:  A note.  Don’t be jealous.  Run it out of your mind.  Some posts, and some of us, write more reflectively than something that evokes a response.  Just let it be what it is.  That’s okay.  Reflective, quiet, even opinionated is okay.  But, depending on your audience, you may just be ‘planting seeds’ of thought.  Still a great gift to us.  Some people seem to need more “talking” than others and that is sensed by the way the blog post is written oftentimes.  A confident sounding blog post does it’s own work.  

Well, that’s all I have to try to help on that.  Thanks for thinking about it.   I’m sure there’s more to say.  If you want to blog on it, just link to this post and continue with your thoughts or comment here. 

Mainly, let’s keep building some healthy community!

~Maggie

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Entry filed under: Blog Notes, Blogging. Tags: .

Oh, Decorating, Oh Decorating… (to the tune of Oh Tannenbaum) Life with 5…FIVE…five… Kids {I’m not that good a woman}

14 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Terrie  |  January 5, 2008 at 9:22 pm

    Hey….Steve and I were just talking about this yesterday. He really has only had one other person comment on his blog. Steve’s blog is the church blog that he does for Brother Ray. He asked Steve some time ago if he would be interested in writting the Warriors Journey because he just didn’t have time to keep up two and of course Steve was honored to do it. Although it was never announced that Steve was going to do it so some may wonder why brother Ray gave it to Steve but that’s why. But…your right, it is a little discouraging when there are no comment

    Maggie replies: Steve is a great writer and has a gift for putting significant and notable thoughts and words together. Blogging is something that has just appeared in this area, and I’m not sure people know yet quite what to do with it. It requires regular posting, asking questions, inviting relationships, reading other’s blogs and commenting, and overall, some patience and willingness just to work on becoming a better writer and communicator through the exercise.

    I have always told myself that when I die, I want to leave something authentic behind that others will know that I struggled and wished and dreamed and learned and stumbled and faltered and succeeded, but that in all, Christ was my all in all, always, the center, the focus, the balance, the glory. And now, I can let people know before I die…I can self publish, for free, to the world.

    There are ways to use blogging to attract seekers to your blog. I’ll cover that in future days and hope some will find that also of use and motivation to continue.

    Thanks for the great jumping board.
    Mag

  • 2. Misty  |  January 5, 2008 at 9:50 pm

    It took me a while, but I came to terms with the lurkers not posting. I now blog more out of therapeutic reasons than anything–kinda just to journal my random thoughts. Though I do love my faithful commenters! 🙂

    Maggie replies: 😀 Yes…I feel the same way. You get over that feeling. And…honestly, I see some blogs with seriously 200-300 comments and I pray, “Lord, let it never be me!” I don’t know how in the world you’d deal with that.

  • 3. blueraindrop  |  January 5, 2008 at 11:05 pm

    i’ve noticed that wordpress tends to be a lot more quiet on comments than a lot of the other sites. i consolidated my blogs from a couple of other sites a few months ago…. and its amazing how even when the numbers are double on pageviews, still very quiet. even when i know some of the readers are the same ones that were much chattier in other places.

    but then, im known to lurk my fair share too when i dont feel like i have anything to say that adds anything to the conversation. so i dont mind it. and half the times it means more in depth conversations when people hit me by im or email instead.

    Maggie Replies: Thanks for the visit…quite insightful! Yes…emails are not reflected and we should all factor that in, esp. with local friends…i get many more emails and LOVe those!

  • 4. ~E  |  January 6, 2008 at 8:36 am

    I am one of those “lurkers” you are writing of. I not only lurk on your blog, but on several others. I am a quiet person and I guess that just carries over to the blog world. I am fine during one-on-one conversations, but once the crowd grows (even by just one or two), my mouth usually stops moving. I try to be sensitive to this situation and do try to make some sort of comment every once in a while.

    Maggie replies: But you are such a lovely, considerate, and gracious lurker that it’s pardoned…plus, you often comment, so that thereby, “delurks” you! This “tutorial” applies to bloggers who have no idea who their blog audience is…I’m pretty secure in that element as a whole.

  • 5. Kimberly  |  January 6, 2008 at 3:07 pm

    Like E replied…..some of us are just quiet and shy….not brave enough to see ourselves in black and white.

    Maggie replied: See what a jewel that was, though? “not brave enough to see ourselves in black and white”. Whew…I’m not sure I am either…that’s why I don’t read myself! :D))) You are such a delight, friend. You ought to spring forth for the world world to see. Everything you say blesses my socks off somehow. What a treasure.

  • 6. Rachel  |  January 6, 2008 at 5:40 pm

    Ok, I repent of “lurking” and will start commenting more! I was off the blogosphere when I first came back from Africa but I got my blog groove back on!

  • 7. mandythompson  |  January 6, 2008 at 5:44 pm

    oh yes ma’am!!!!

    i feel the same way, but can’t bring myself to blog about it… i went home for the holidays and so many of my friends/family said that they’d read something on my blog…

    i wanted to look at them and say: “well, comment, then!”

  • 8. cyana  |  January 6, 2008 at 9:33 pm

    ~E posted my feelings very well. I also lurk, it’s true. But your statements about why a blogger would like to know the readers is valid and so I comply for your blog and the others I read as well. Thank you.

  • 9. theepiphany  |  January 6, 2008 at 9:38 pm

    As a blogger: I GREATLY appreciate comments but, like you’ve said, have outgrown that early irritation when not everyone who reads a post takes the time to comment. I do, however, DESPISE anonymous comments that are simply argumentative and even offensive without any link associated for further conversation – you know – the random new commentator name with something like “I totally disagree,” or “You’re full of it…” as the comment – what’s the point?? I just delete those immediately.

    As a Reader: I try to comment somewhat regularly on sites that I visit frequently but I am lost on really LONG posts so one piece of advice to other bloggers is that if you want readers to comment, keep your posts concise!

    BTW – good topic 🙂

    Maggie Replies: Great thoughts, Epiphany! Concise. Hmmm. I think this depends on the type of post. Big Mama or Boo Mama, blogging queens could write a book and I’d still comment. Interesting. I’ve written short posts and commented that I want to be more brief and people say, “Why? No…I like reaidng whatever comes out.” So, I don’t know on that one. May depend on how the reader likes to take in info. I try to write varying lengths. I wonder if you could try turning off the f anonymous comments? I have done that through wordpress. It has helped! Great thoughts to spin!

  • 10. Merrie  |  January 6, 2008 at 10:53 pm

    I know what you mean… although I have been very guilty of doing the same thing. I take the time to read and enjoy and contemplate, laugh, cry… but then click on and don’t respond. Sometimes my feelings are so deep that I can’t express them, others, I feel so shallow that I don’t want to embarrass myself.

    I’ll make a conscious effort to comment more…

    oh, thank you for stopping by my blog and commenting and then even linking to me. You are so kind and so much appreciated!

  • 11. mamarosi  |  January 7, 2008 at 2:32 am

    Maggie, I’m a faithful reader of your blog just so you know! I do comment occasionally as you also know, but for the most part I just read and enjoy. So you know that 1 of the 300 or so that hit your site each day, is me =). Love your blog!
    Mama Rosi

  • 12. awomansdevotion  |  January 7, 2008 at 9:13 am

    I found your blog at the end of Christmas break and have really enjoyed reading them. This is my first post but I want you to know that you have inspired me and several or my friends to begin doing a Bible study through blogs. We are just in the early stages and are currently trying to decide on a study–if you have any thoughts please let me know.

    Maggie replies: That’s great to hear! Good to hear from you! I highly recommend “Becoming a Woman of Excellence” by Cyntha Heald. I love all her studies, they are published through NavPress and expose you to a lot of great writers and thoughts, as well as making you dig for yourself without being too long to do every day. A Woman’s Heart, God’s Dwelling Place is also good by Beth Moore…any of hers are good, but a little lengthier.

  • 13. Johnnie Ruth Hamill  |  January 7, 2008 at 2:32 pm

    You know I comment…. 🙂 Have a great day!

  • 14. Kim V  |  January 8, 2008 at 7:44 am

    Thanks for addressing this topic…everyone thinks it but doesn’t talk about it. I know I am guilty of not commenting all the time. I just don’t always have something to say (I know that is hard to believe). Believe it or not, the whole commenting thing has been on my mind a lot lately and this post is just confirmation of the fact that we need to be more encouraging of one another through this whole blog thing. We sure don’t want satan to worm his way into it and create discomfort. Love ya!!!

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ME: “MAGGIE”

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Sifting the joy from the mundane:

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I am married to the love of my life, as we raise three children, learning the ways of grace.

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Magnanimity (derived from the Latin roots magn- great, and anima, soul) is the virtue of being great of mind and heart. It encompasses, usually, a refusal to be petty, a willingness to face danger, and actions for noble purposes. Its antithesis is pusillanimity. Both terms were coined by Aristotle, who called magnanimity "the crowning virtue."

Noah Webster's 1828 Dictionary of the American Language defines Magnanimity as such:

MAGNANIM'ITY, n. [L. magnanimitas; magnus, great, and animus, mind.] Greatness of mind; that elevation or dignity of soul, which encounters danger and trouble with tranquillity and firmness, which raises the possessor above revenge, and makes him delight in acts of benevolence, which makes him disdain injustice and meanness, and prompts him to sacrifice personal ease, interest and safety for the accomplishment of useful and noble objects.[1] (Source: Wikipedia)

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