Thoughtful Thursday: Lurkers

October 1, 2009

Thoughtful ThursdayHappy October. No, really, I mean it.

Happy October! OctobeBabies!!!!

Here are the Intelligentsia (people who have commented on every Thoughtful Thursday post for the month of September). September was a busy month for Thoughtful Thursday, and it was an extra-busy month for several members. There are quite a few mothers of multiples this time around, including some who gave birth in the past month. Given my own current status, it seems appropriate to point those out (but kudos to all, including parents of singletons achieved through any means as well as those without children). This says to me that people with all sorts of similar experiences gather together, and it also says that you can’t keep some people away from blogs no matter what.

Wiseguy from Woman Anyone? continues her remarkable streak with 9 Intelligentsia appearances.

Ernessa from Fierce and Nerdy and Kristen from Dragondreamer’s Lair are both back for the 7th time; in the middle of Ernessa’s June Intelligentsia participation she gave birth to her daughter.

Jill from All Aboard the Pity Boat and Photogrl from Not the Path I Chose return for the 5th time.

Making her fourth appearance is Cat, non-blogger but mother of triplets.

Jules from Just Multiply by 2 is a twin mom, and Lost In Translation from We Say IVF, They Say FIV is a singleton mom who first achieved Intelligentsia status at 41 weeks pregnant.

Heather from Joys In My Life took time out from her twins and singleton for Intelligentsia appearance #2.

There are lots of new members. Long-time commenter, first-time Intelligentsia member Lori, a.k.a. Lavender Luz, from Weebles Wobblog; twin mothers Elana from Elana’s Musings and Stacie from Heeeeere Storkey Storkey; Jamie from Sticky Feet and Michele from My Life After Loss, who both gave birth to twins this month while also achieving Intelligentsia Status, and Carrie from Tubeless in Seattle, expecting to deliver triplets sometime in October (the later the better!).

Thoughtful ThursdayNow for this week’s Thoughtful Thursday topic. Skrambled recently had an interesting post about the reasons she writes her blog.

In my comment on her post, I wrote:

In addition to those, I’d say that I blog to connect to others with the benefit of a cohesive story and set of people. In earlier IF days I often read and considered message boards, but usually unless people are following a board closely, each post ultimately stands alone (plus the little signature at the bottom with all of the details of your cycles etc.).

One thing that really appealed to me about blogging is that you don’t have to retell your story over and over, that instead people follow along with you over an extended period (and I them). When I have read someone’s blog for a long time and feel like I know them as a person, their highs and lows are much more meaningful to me.

Sometimes this involves feedback/comments and sometimes none at all. Of course I love my regular commenters and I enjoy it when my lurkers show themselves, but I’m also happy to have lurkers who continue to lurk. Whether or not they’d get more out of the experience if they started participating in the conversation (which varies by person and is not for me to judge), if they’re getting something out of one-sided reading, mission accomplished.

This leads us now to another blogging-about-blogging topic, but one that we haven’t addressed on Thoughtful Thursday before: Lurkers.

As a blogger, how do you feel about lurkers? As a reader, when and why do you lurk? When and why do you delurk?

One feature that causes ALI blogs to accrue lurkers more than other types of blogs is the secrecy that often accompanies these topics. Many of us create pseudonyms with associated email addresses for our ALI life, but even so, people can find it difficult to comment on a blog and therefore out themselves (even if anonymously) as adopting, dealing with loss, or infertile — or some combination of those.

On the other hand, ALI blogging seems to engender more commenting than any other corner of the blogosphere that I’ve seen. Much of this is due to Mel’s efforts to encourage commenting through ICLW, LFCA, and the general atmosphere. Other types of blogs, even very widely read blogs, often receive few or no comments (except perhaps during National Delurking Week), but in the ALI blogosphere, the ratio of readers to commenters seems vastly higher than usual.

Which, therefore, means that the people who don’t comment can stand out in a way they wouldn’t for blogs on other topics.

To answer my own questions, as I said above, I am personally in favor of lurkers if that’s what they need to do. I also enjoy seeing them delurk when they think it’s time. Part of why I chose this topic now, aside from the related post on Skrambled, is that I have already experienced some delurking here recently, and expect to see more soon — perhaps when I have a birth announcement to make.

As a reader of others’ blogs, I am the opposite of a lurker. On many blogs I comment on just about every post, and on quite a few others others I comment on a fair number of posts. There are some blogs I follow where I comment less often, typically because the person is in a different place and I want to be sensitive to the fact that they may not want sympathy on a failed cycle from a pregnant woman (though if I’ve been commenting on the blog for a while, I often comment anyway). My commenting has gone down lately due to logistic constraints of horizontal typing during bedrest, but I don’t think there are any blogs that I read regularly (and there are a lot of them) where I’d consider myself a lurker. I do follow some as a Clicker for which I comment rarely but post news often, but that seems to be a different situation from regular blog reading.

And so, I can’t really answer the delurking question because I don’t lurk in the first place. I guess I used to lurk before I had a blog, but once I started my own, I tried to fully join the community, and I’ve never looked back.

As a blogger, how do you feel about lurkers? As a reader, when and why do you lurk? When and why do you delurk?

Pssst… hey, lurkers: now would be a perfectly fine time to delurk. Are you really going to lurk on a post about lurking? C’mon! Say hi!


38 Responses to “Thoughtful Thursday: Lurkers”

  1. Michele Says:

    I view lurkers like my shy friends. Not everyone is extroverted and feels like they can jump into the conversation. Now, I realize some lurkers may be very vocal IRL and, as you said, just not want to “out” themselves. Or maybe they just have nothing to say on a particular post.

    I’m a big mouth and I like to comment on what I read, just to let the person know I’m out there, thinking of them, but sometimes, if I have absolutely nothing I can add to the post (or it isnt something that I feel like I can be supportive with), I’ll “lurk” for that particular post, but in general, if I’m following a blog, you’ll see my name in the comments field…

  2. Star Says:

    I’m a chronic lurker — I rarely comment, but read a lot of blogs. It’s partly a time issue, but mostly it’s that I’m shy and introverted (two different things, each of which compounds the other). I don’t always know what to say, and I never think of myself as necessary to the situation, if you kwim. Kind of like, no one will notice if I comment or not. So generally when I do, it’s when I either feel strongly about whatever’s being discussed or feel like I have some helpful information or a related anecdote to share. I’m also shy about commenting on IF blogs for the reason that you stated — being sensitive to people’s feelings. I have two little ones and didn’t go through nearly as much as most people in this community to get there, so I feel a little sheepish, or something. That said, I’ve been reading your blog since the beginning and love it! So, FWIW, I’m here even if I’m not always commenting.

    Oh, and in keeping with all that, I’m totally fine with lurking. I think I have a few lurkers on my (not publicized or widely read) blog and don’t get comments hardly ever. That’s okay with me, since I blog (or journal, I suppose) mostly for myself, but if other people want to read along and are getting something out of it, that makes me happy too.

  3. Lea Says:

    Hi! Despite the fact that I have commented on your blog once before (can’t remember what inspired it, though!) I am usually a hard-core lurker. I de-lurk only if something really touches me, or inspires me to weigh in with my opinion. It’s fairly infrequent, really. I’ve been reading infertility blogs for about 5 years, which is about the time we started in on our own treatments. I have learned a lot, and found some people whom I really think I would like in real life. However, I still mostly lurk. I think the main reason for this is because I don’t have my own blog. I feel like I’m not really part of the “club” because people can’t check out my blog and read my story. I can’t reciprocate with personal information, so I feel a little sheepish reading someone else’s. I suppose I could comment and always give a rundown of my story, but that could get tedious for me and the blogger! Probably another reason I only lurk is because I feel left out from the success that most people eventually achieve. I did IUIs, and then moved on to IVF, at which I was a stunning failure at the ripe old age of 32. I kept trying…did 5 IVFs, never got pregnant, never even produced more than 3 follicles. I made the decision to do donor egg and then found out my uterus was also crap so I couldn’t even carry a donor egg pregnancy. It’s been one failure after another and that has left me feeling separate from most bloggers who I (narrow-mindedly in many cases I’m sure) see as always achieving success eventually. Now we are looking into donor egg with gestational carrier and the cost is mind-blowing. But I’m tired of waiting for a baby, and I’d like to not put a price on having a family. So. That’s mostly why I don’t comment. That and because when I do I unfortunately hijack way too much space and blather on forever!!!! ; )

  4. ^WiseGuy^ Says:

    LOLOL….I am going to wave a ‘Hi’ at you even though I am not really a lurker on your blog! And yay! October Babies…that burst of colour on your blog is tought to miss!!

    As a blogger, how do you feel about lurkers? As a reader, when and why do you lurk? When and why do you delurk?

    I do keep finding footprints of visitors on my blog through the Feedjit, and I often find that the number of comments does not match the number of locations I got hit by, but when I see the same addresses coming by again and again, I know that there is something in my story that makes them come back, even if they haven’t figured out something to write on the posts. I am fine with lurkers. I anyways, do not have too many of them.

    Do I lurk? Yes! The blogs that I have listed on my blogroll in ‘WA?’ are ones that I visit regularly and tend to comment on.

    But there is a set of blogs that I have a RSS feed on, and some of them do not figure on my online blogroll at all, and never receive comments on me. One of them is an obnoxious tear-all blog. I get a kick reading it, but would never want to contribute to it in an active manner.

    Others are blogs that are mostly about toddlers, and I admit, I am a sucker for cute baby pics…it is just the pictures that have me hooked.

    There is another category on which I am a lurker….those that are very famous, and on whom, by the time I get down to write, 30 comments are already in. I do not want to be lost in a crowd.

  5. ^WiseGuy^ Says:

    I would delurk only when:

    a. Something is too compelling for me to keep quiet on…a birth announcement, or a loss issue that is close to my heart.

  6. rosesdaughter Says:

    I don’t mind my lurkers at all. I know they are there, and its a comfort ot me sometimes just to know that someone cares enough to read. I am a lurker on a few blogs where like Wise Guy said, they are so popular that my comment seems redundant. I often delurk when the topic compells me to say something or when something big happens. Then, I often go back to lurking.

  7. Ninali Says:

    ok…ok…you’ve convinced me! I will de-lurk…tahdah!!

    Just wanted to say that I’ve enjoyed reading your blog for some time now. I don’t know why I haven’t posted perhaps I’ve felt guilty…feeling like there wasn’t anything I could say. My heart goes out to couples who TTC for so long and just want to love and have children. While I myself have a uterine anomaly that often causes infertility, miscarriages & pre-term labor I’ve been fortunate to be able to conceive and have had 1 boy (at 37 weeks although he did threaten to arrive at 34) who will be 3 in December and now expecting spontaneous twins in late January if I am lucky enough to get that far.

    I, for whatever reason, feel I lurk because I guess I just don’t think I have something important enough to say…I guess you could say I feel a little intimidated. Everyone seems to be such witty & creative writers… I want to say something that will matter to the blogger and often others have already said it or I feel it isn’t relevant enough. If something touches me enough then I do speak up…but it is on rare occasion. But I must admit, as you said, now that I’ve started blogging I feel more entitled to comment here or there. But still pretty new at it all and feel intimidated at times.

    Since beginning to blog, I LOVE anyone that would comment…but I don’t mind lurkers. I blog for myself…to try and improve myself…to connect to myself…and most of all just to remember. I feel like I’ve lost so many of my memories and feelings of my 1st pregnancy and I wanted to be able to come back and reflect on them whenever I wanted.

  8. Elana Kahn Says:

    I love lurkers…but I love them even more when they comment. 🙂 But of course I’m guilty as well. I only comment on someone’s blog when I really have something to say or when something big happens. I do this because I have sooooo many blog so to read and I just don’t have time to comment on every single one. 🙂

  9. BB Says:

    Yay for Octorber Babies! Now about lurking, I normally try to comment on most blogs that I follow… but have seem to turn in to a lurker if after extended (months together) of commenting (inspite of sometimes being in the same state of cycle etc) doesn’t even get a single response (reciprocaion) back from the blogger! Some times its my state of mind (unstable) which turns me in to a lurker! I have no issues with lurkers on my blog. 😛

  10. Lavender Luz Says:


    Kidding! I made it to Intelligentsia!

    I feel both a little excited and a little disturbed when I see unknown lurkers peering in via my stats.

    Sometimes, it’s like having a secret admirer. Maybe it’s someone wonderful! Maybe it’s an old boyfriend or one of the popular girls who now find me interesting. Maybe it’s someone famous (don’t ask me who — specifics are much less satisfying).

    Sometimes it’s like having a secret stalker. Is is someone who wishes me ill? Why does this person come every day and stay 5 minutes?

    I only lurk on big blogs, like Dooce, because I feel like my voice doesn’t matter and that leaving a comment is somewhat gratuitous. That said, I *have* left a comment or two there when I felt I did have something real to say, other than “I hear ya!” or “Yay, you!” or “You rock.” I may be a lurker but not a groupie.

    Also, if it’s a new person outside the ALI community I will often not comment the first time I visit. I get the lay of the land first.

    I hope you have some people popping up (and piping up)!

  11. Tiffany Says:

    I am definitely a huge lurker! Most of the time, like everyone else, I only comment when I feel strongly about a post.

    I usually don’t comment because I feel like an outsider stepping into someone else’s world. Kind of like when you’re eavesdropping on someone’s conversation, you usually don’t pipe in and give your opinion! I love to read other people’s stories and get a glimpse into their worlds. Plus, I am constantly learning new things. But I am also kind of new to blogosphere, and I am slowly trying to change my ways and let people know that I am there. We’ll see how that works out!

    P.s. Congrats on making it to October!!!

  12. joybadluckclub Says:

    hi, my name is Elisabeth, i’m delurking… 🙂 i’m happy you made it to october, i’ve cheering you on and wishing you the best for quite awhile now.

    i have had 2 very close friends that struggle with infertility, and both started treatments. one of them is having continuous losses. another is currently 25 weeks pregnant with twin girls. i started reading blogs about infertility, and even multiples, so i could better understand what they are going through, so i can be a better friend. what i’ve found is that there exists this huge, supportive and wonderful group of women bloggers out there that hold each other up, and the support system is loving and familial, and it brings tears to my eyes. i silently celebrate with them, and i also grieve with them. out of the maybe 20 infertility/loss or multiples blogs i read, i’ve only delurked on 2. now 3. 🙂 the other 2 that i delurked on, the bloggers were lovely and didn’t mind me reading.
    i guess i don’t comment because i am afraid that since i don’t have problems myself with infertility or loss, my presence might be seen as inappropriate. i’ve read a few infertility blogs that have made mentioning of ‘fertiles’ leaving rude or strange comments, and i’m scared of ever being seen in that group, even though i know my intentions are always warm and supportive.
    best wishes for you, the babies and your family! 🙂

  13. Wishing4One Says:

    I love lurkers as much as those who comment regularly. I figure if they are reading my most interesting blog (cough…LOL) they must like it or are just curious about IF or Egypt. I always comment. There are rare times I read a blog and don’t leave one, it happens, but not too much. I will say, when i come upon a blog for the first time, I am a bit shy to leave a comment, but usually do anyway. Especially if it not related ot IF. I have a few blogs on my blogroll that fit this category and I will admit I don’t comment on them as much as I do on ALI blogs. Anyway Happy October and we are anxiously awaiting your babies, as you know. xoxoxoxo

  14. s.e. Says:

    It’s funny. I’ve never considered myself a lurker but now you have me wondering if I would fall into that category even here. I go through spurts of commenting often, almost every time I read a post and then a few weeks go by when I comment only to those that I feel I can offer support or answers.

    I have been reading your blog even closer recently due to the multiple similarities (pun intended). I feel like I am following closely in your footsteps only a week or two behind.

    I actually get frustrated when others never show their face. I like to know they are out there and connecting in some way to my story. I think I was shocked when I went private and so many lurkers bravely asked for invites. But you have made me more open minded at accepting them for what they are. You are right. Obviously lurkers are getting something out of reading, even if the back and forth is never there.

    I am so glad you made it to October. I know what a huge milestone that is!

  15. ana Says:

    I’m a chronic lurker. Yours is one of the few blogs I do comment on with some regularity. I think the main reason is, as a few others stated above, I don’t have my own blog and feel somewhat weird about that. I can’t really articulate why, i just feel a bit guilty or lazy about it (like I’m taking from the community without giving back…) The other reason is that I am just a quiet & introverted person by nature. Even in other areas of life, I am a listener/observer less than a talker.
    I do delurk on occasion, usually when there is an interesting conversation that spurs me to add in my 2 cents, or I feel an emotional connection to the post. If I’ve been following regularly, and am invested in the story, I am also often moved to reply to good/bad news with a short comment of support. But I am not into being a groupie, if I don’t have anything heartfelt to say, I’m not going to comment just to do it.
    I’m glad to hear most bloggers don’t mind lurkers…I’ve often wondered. It has been incredibly helpful for me to be able to read some of the fantastic stories out there, and I thank everyone who takes the time & emotional investment to maintain a great blog!

  16. Veronica Says:

    Hello!! I am de-lurking also:) I started following your blog almost a year ago (Jan) when I started my blog. I did one post!!!!! How sad. I didn’t have the energy to write after my 2nd IVF cycle failed so I just decided to follow yours since it was very interesting to me. I have been thinking about continuing my blog as my husband and I found out we were expecting this summer and without having treatment. A true miracle! I am so happy for you and your pregnancy!!! I look forward to more great posts from you. There- I outed myself!!

  17. Wild Irish Roses Says:

    I, too, am delurking. *sigh*

    Part of the reason I lurk is because although I have a blog of my own, the blogs I follow are vastly different from my own.

    Hell, they’re vastly different from where I am in my own life in general. I follow infertility/pregnancy loss/adoption blogs, and to some extent blogs dealing with raising a disabled child. But I myself am a college student, a teenager who, as yet, doesn’t want kids.

    That being the case, I feel weird commenting or offering sympathy that seems as if it would come off as presumptuous or fake, no matter how heartfelt it is. I guess I would say that this is a community bound together by common experiences I haven’t had, so I feel like I’m not part of it.

    The other part of why I lurk is that the reason I started following the blogs I do in the first place is because I wanted to write about these topics. Although it’s probably not the case, and I read now because of an emotional attachment, I feel that that, too, makes any comments I might leave seem fake, because they will be colored by that knowledge on my part.

    As a blogger, I am fine with the idea of lurkers, because I myself lurk on many blogs, but I do often wish they’d expose themselves and comment, which is admittedly hypocritical.

  18. Eve Says:

    First of all, hang in there mama…you’re so close to the end (if you count that as 36 weeks anyway, lol!).

    I rarely lurk…as someone above said…I’m such a bigmouth I can’t help but comment. But one of my irks is, since I’m out with my blog in RL…if find out ALL THE TIME friends and aquaintances who lurk on my blog. That bothers me, because it seems like they owe it to me to announce their presence or something. It also feels like an unfair advantage: they have access to MY inner world, but I don’t have access to thiers. Well, I guess that’s how it goes!!!!

  19. Photogrl Says:

    Happy October, indeed! 🙂

    Lurkers. Hmm. I’m always curious about them, but honestly, unless they de-lurk I don’t think about them much.

    The reason I started to blog was for me. To get the stuff out of my head, because IRL, I only knew 1 person who had IF and nobody who had lost a tube to an ectopic pregnancy.

    And I figured, maybe, just maybe, someone else might find something that could help them, too.

    So, for the 1st couple months of my blog, I only lurkered on others. I worried too much about what to say to others.

    BUT, like you, once I found the ALI community I’ve pretty much stopped lurking!

  20. May Says:

    I lurk a lot, mostly due to time constraints. I make a concerted effort to find and support women on bedrest because I have been there, and it suuuuuucks. But I also have two small ones running around, plus I’m teaching three college classes this semester, so not a lot of free time!!

  21. Kristin Says:

    I don’t mind lurkers. I wish people would comment because I’d love to know who is reading but whatever works for the people who read me is ok for me.

    I can’t honestly say I lurk on any blogs so I can’t answer the delurking part of the question.

  22. Hahaha. I used to be an accidental lurker. For whatever reason it didn’t occur to me that I should be commenting on the blogs I read regularly. And even now, it gets a little difficult, b/c often times I don’t have much to say beyond, “I completely agree” or “great post!” But now that I run Fierce and Nerdy, I’ve come to see that people appreciate even those comments. FaN has an insane number of lurkers. This week I thought no one was ready, but when I checked the stats (which I don’t do very often these days), I found out that last week was higher than average and this week was a little above average. Wow. So really, I don’t mind lurkers, but I know a few of my bloggers do. It’s difficult when they write a really good post and only I comment with “great post!”

    I also think Google reader has made a lot of people into lurkers. I think you feel this problem a lot less when you’re not anonymous. I’ve yet to go to a party since Fierce and Nerdy went live when someone didn’t reference something that was said on the site, so I at least know that many of my friends are reading — even when it doesn’t look like they are.

    I think we should think of a nicer name for them than lurkers…

  23. Shelby Says:

    I am a self-proclaimed lurker, but really not for most of the reasons you listed. To be honest, I’m just lazy. 🙂 I follow so many people’s stories that I simply don’t have the time and energy to comment on all of the entries I read (which is well over 50 a day). I’m also a commenting perfectionist and will only leave my two cents if I feel it’s well thought out, so that presents even more time constraints. I comment on anywhere from 10-20% of the blogs I read on a daily basis. I only comment if:

    1. I feel really compelled to do so because the topic moves me.
    2. I am already a regular commenter.
    3. They need extra support and could really use the community outreach at that time.

    Because I’m a chronic lurker, I have no problem with people lurking my blog. People will comment when they feel like it and when they do, I am very honored (especially given my commenting laziness). I comment more often here because you always seem to come up with fantastically thoughtful posts. This is not to say that I don’t find others interesting, but your topics compel me to spill!

  24. Julie Says:

    Okay so first off – congrats on the new month & the still-to-make-their-appearance babies! Must feel amazing with everything considered.

    I don’t mind lurkers (as most of my family who read my blog fit into said category) but if you regulary read a blog, I think once in awhile it would be nice to comment just to show your presence. As I’ve had a very busy past month, with the lack of commenting I tend to think “oh no one is reading it that much so I can slack off, tend to other things.”

    I lurk, as others have mentioned, in areas where I feel the need to be sensitive to a blogger’s current status (like baby-loss blogs) or if I really can’t come up with anything worthwhile to say. To echo Wiseguy I also feel less need to comment on posts that already have a great number of comments.

    I tend to lurk more when I’m really busy, like in the past month as I can read through a lot of blogs in a quick amount of time versus commenting or writing on my own blog. Also if I’m really tired it takes less energy just to read (sad to say that but there are some nights I just prefer to “veg” in front of the laptop and have nothign much to offer)

  25. jill Says:

    Personally I’m just fine with lurkers. I completely understand that commenting takes time and people usually don’t have enough time to comment on every post they read. I know I sometimes feel silly commenting when I don’t have anything really thoughtful or knowledgeable to say so I understand that pov too. If I could choose though, I’d love to have everyone who read a post just leave even a quick comment of “I Was Here!” 😉 It’s always nice to know people are reading!

    I lurk on many blogs because really I read way too many blogs to comment on every single one. The ones I lurk on the most (blogs I’ve never or very rarely commented on) are the ones where I have the least in common with the blogger. For example, there are two popular “mommy blogs” I read that are not IF related. I don’t feel that I have much of anything in common with them but I’m still interested in what they have to say and their stories.

    Also, if a blog gets a very large # of comments on every post I usually don’t comment. If I can only comment on 10 blogs in one day but I read 40 posts, I would rather comment on the blogs that have the fewest commenters – I know how much I love comments and I try to pass that love along.

  26. Cat Says:

    I lurk until I decide if I’m going to continue to follow the blog or not. I don’t know why, exactly, other than I feel like commenting is making a commitment, so I don’t comment until I’m sure I’m going to stick around. I also lurk on some Blogger blogs that have more strict settings on their comments section to only allow those with Blogger, Google, etc. accounts to post comments. So I lurk because I cannot comment.

  27. I always read, but don’t often comment – does that make me a lurker?

    As a blogger I know that only 1 in 20 people who read my blog comment. I’d like to know more about those other 19 people, but I don’t mind them reading. I also know that while a few more may comment on a delurking post, most will still stay quiet. It’s harder now that I’m passwording posts, and at times have had passworded blogs. One thing I really miss is the lurkers I had four years ago who were mostly not able to follow me over the years and moves through passworded blogs. But I feel I need the protection of a password, especially when blogging about foster kids and our thoughts & feelings around adoption, so I’ll stay passworded for now. I also think many people are too scared to ask for the password which I understand, but don’t know how to make easier for people.

    As a blog reader I do most of my reading in Google Reader and only click across if I’ve got something to say. I don’t participate in ICLW anymore since I find it really time consuming and I’m not great at keeping up on the blogs I read now. I find myself lurking more now that we’ve moved on to adoption but are still in the paperwork stage, it’s harder to identify with women going through treatment (especially the early years) and while I read a lot of adoption blogs, I’m mainly learning from them and don’t feel comfortable giving my thoughts most of the time. I do still read some parenting blogs but like in real life, I think it’s hard for people to appreciate my thoughts on parenting so I often don’t offer them. Foster care blogs are easier to read but bittersweet when it’s been so long since Jelly was with us.

    I do try to comment on blogs which don’t often get comments, I stop following blogs which are full of bullshit drama, I won’t read blogs where people are constantly asking for money and don’t give anything back. I’ll read any blog that facilitates interesting discussions like this one. 🙂

  28. MabelB Says:

    Happy October and Congrats to everyone expecting new October babies!

    I suppose I count as a lurker even though I comment often on most of the blogs I read… the only reason I’m a lurker is that I don’t have my own blog. I started reading blogs during my IVF cycle early this year in order to read about people going through a similar thing to me. I am very private about my infertility journey in real life and have been surrounded be close pregnant friends over the past few years, most of whom have no idea what I’ve gone through. It was such a relief and support to read about others going through similar experiences to me and feeling the same kind of emotions. When I started lurking blogging was all quite new to me and I didn’t really know how to set up my own blog or whether it was something I wanted to commit to. I was surprised at how attached I became to the people I read about and how affected I was by their successes and disappointments so I kept reading and commenting once my pregnancy was confirmed. By this stage it felt a bit too late to start a blog as I had been through my infertile years and was now happily (though warily) pregnant, – why would anyone want to read about another pregnant woman when they didn’t know my history? So here I am 8 months later and nearly full term still reading the blogs of the people I have grown really attached to through their stories. Too late to start one now though, right?! 🙂
    Best of luck with your babies!

  29. MeAndBaby Says:

    Wow, reading your comments, lurkers have a lot to say! 🙂 I would not consider myself a total lurker on your blog because I have commented before but not a lot.

    For blogs where I lurk, I almost always comment if I feel strongly about the topic but if I don’t feel I have something meaningful to contribute, I don’t. For bloggers who have commented on my blog, I tend to comment more because the back and forth between us makes me feel like we’re friends.

    As for my blog, I don’t mind lurkers. While I LOVE comments, if just reading my posts gives them something, I’m happy with that.

    Happy October!! And happy almost birthday to those babies!

  30. heatherh Says:

    im a partial lurker, ive left some short random comments here before, so this isnt my first one!
    im a non blogger and only began reading blogs about a year ago, i have a friend who blogs about her infertility and serveral others who dont blog about theirs. they are what inspired me to read. i myself have not struggled with infertility, but i began reading other blogs from her roll to better understand. i think my hesitation in commenting has to do with fear of offending anyone as i learned, and honestly no matter how much i know im still an “outsider”. so i guess its a respect thing. but i have read back thru most of your old posts, i love your writting style and its pretty unique in the blogosphere.

  31. Mel Says:

    I’m okay with lurkers because I can be a very quiet person face-to-face and I understand that desire sometimes just to listen and not talk. At the same time, it is strange if you have a statcounter and you see the difference between the number of comments vs. the number of people who visit. How are these others not encouraged to join the conversation? At the same time, I also understand.

    So says the woman who spends a great deal of her time barking, “comment, people!”

  32. Kandi Ann Says:

    As a blogger, 1. how do you feel about lurkers? 2. As a reader, when and why do you lurk? 3. When and why do you delurk?

    1. For me, lurkers are always welcome. I really don’t know if I can even figure out how to find out if I have lurkers, if someone could teach/tell me I would be forever grateful, today I tried to figure it out with no success.

    2. I am a chronic lurker and love reading blogs. My hands hurt a lot when I first wake up before my first pain med’s dose so I do a lot of reading then when its hard to type out a response.

    I usually find my blogs I read by Prayer requests found in comments or posts of my current blogs I read. I can get through the blogs I read in less then an hour so I go blog hopping and Pray and read and sometimes I stay to see the story through with a hoped for success. The blogs I “Pray” for and read usually have happy endings which I love. Sometimes after the happy ending, I have gotten “attached” to the writer and family and I stick around to enjoy the good times though since I started reading blogs about 8 yrs ago I haven’t had a lot of happy so it is just better to read and not comment for me 98% of the time.

    3. I too delurk on delurk day. Birth announcements. And Prayer requests to let people know I am Praying for them. Also when I can relate to the post. xoxo, Kandi Ann

    (I made this my 13th blog post too. :o)

  33. onepinkline Says:

    I follow a number of ALI blogs religiously. On some I comment regularly. On others I lurk. I think it has to do with where I joined the story. I come out of the woodwork to comment to congratulate or console but often I just follow along. I also tend to comment less often on blogs that I’m not a ‘regular’ commenter on since about 20 weeks of pregnancy. Not sure why I think that people sometimes don’t want to hear from the ‘belly brigade’.
    I don’t mind lurkers. So much about IF is personal. I think it’s great there’s a place to go to learn you’re not alone.

  34. staciet Says:

    I don’t mind lurkers, really. I’d like to think that they are rooting for my family at least somewhat, or why would they bother coming back? 🙂

    As for me, I lurk if I don’t feel that I have anything to add to a coversation or if I don’t really know the blogger well. I tend to lurk for several weeks before I’ll comment.

    If, however, something life changigng happens before I “know” the blogger, I’ll comment even if I haven’t before.

  35. Carrie Says:


    I don’t always lurk, only on certain blogs and they are usually of the following:
    1. Blogs that receive loads of comments. Most people have already said what I wanted to say, so why repeat it? Thus, my comment does not mean anything to them. It has a lot to do with self worth. Am I worthy of this blogger’s writing? If I feel inadequate to them, I do not respond. Intimidated and weak, you could say.

    2. Sometimes I just don’t know what to say, especially during tough times. I know that for some, reading a blog that includes children is too hard to read. I know that when I receive a response, I check out who the blogger is and I wouldn’t want my children or my post to cause someone to go further into saddness.

  36. If my story can help them or answer some of their questions, I don’t mind lurkers on my blog, but of course I prefer getting comments (but that also means I have to post more regularly, which I don’t do anymore)!

    There are a few blogs that I follow pretty regularly and I also commented on their posts, however with the baby I now have less time, so I’ve become a bit of a lurker again, even though that wasn’t really my intention. I think in the beginning I started to delurk when someone was going through a similar thing as I was, so I could share my experience, offer encouragement, etc. I don’t easily delurk on blogs that already get tons of comments, because I don’t feel I can add much to the conversation.

  37. Jamie Says:

    I am just fine with lurkers and my stats actually show that a lot more people stop by my blog then actually comment. I am not sure if that is a result of my writing style or if they just don’t feel compelled to say anything.

    I comment regularly on the blogs of those I feel close to. I feel like I have been lucky and made several close friends in the ALI blogosphere. I have been following several people for YEARS. It is amazing to have experienced their journey — battling infertility and many of them are now raising toddlers.

  38. Lynn Says:

    This is my first post on a Thoughtful Thursday and its a bit late, but here goes 😀

    As a blogger, I truly do not mind lurkers. If someone finds what I have to say interesting enough to come back, that’s fine for me. Perhaps I can give them a laugh at my scatterbrainedness (is that a word?) or maybe they need someone to offer support, but not directly. I’m grateful if I can ever be that person for someone else.

    I often tend to lurk on blogs. It is not at all that I’m not interested in what the person is saying or even that I feel the need to be anonymous. My natural tendency is to stay in the background. This is a fairly recent development (the last 6 years or so) but it is the way I am now. I come out of lurking for the events like ICLW and Blogger Bingo. Also, I try to comment on posts from LFCA. I try to post more regularly, but often time is not on my side. However, it is something that I am trying to get better at!

    ~ICLW & Blogger Bingo~

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