What Makes You a Lurker and Not a Commenter?
There is a phenomena that continues to evade me, and that is why do some blogs seem to get tons of comments while others do not. It’s a problem that has plagued us bloggers since the beginning of time, and so I thought if we could share our thoughts here then maybe we can all benefit from our collective wisdom.
For example, this site has gone through cycles where comments have been very high or at the worst of times non-existent, even if my traffic stats tell me otherwise. This has always perplexed me and I was hoping that my fellow Blokesters can help me figure it out.
Recently comments for this site have been down and I’m sure part of the reason is because of my health problems and irregular posting.After all, if a blog appears to be dead where’s the impetus to hang out? That makes sense to me and it’s really amazing how quickly a site can lose it’s momentum.
But I’ve also noticed some long-time readers admitting they continue to lurk here and are not leaving comments. Whilst others it seems would rather email me than leave a comment, even if it is directly related to something that I’ve already written.
Which leaves me to wonder if there is a kind of phobia that some of us might have about leaving comments on a blog. If that is the case then does it mean there is a confidence factor that we are are looking for before we will take a chance and comment?
Or in other words are some us afraid of looking foolish or being shot down in public? If that is true then is it something that I may have done on this blog for example, and if so what can I do as a blogger to help alleviate that concern?
Perhaps for some, they want to make certain that they understand the mindset of the community before committing to a comment.
For example, in my past life when I was a newbie I recall leaving a comment on a news group. Well all I can say is I sincerely regretted it because the leader of the pack severely thrashed me, leaving me with a fear of commenting for a very long time.
But if that is a reason for not commenting then how does one get the ball rolling on a blog that already has little or no comments? If everyone is waiting to figure out the culture of a community (if there is no community) then the blog is in for a very long wait indeed.
I’ve also noticed what’s known as the sheep syndrome where comments seem to follow each other. Or in other words, people just love to hang out in a crowd.
So if they notice a lot of comments they might feel more inclined to add something, as opposed to a post with little or no comments. Safety in numbers and all that.
Here’s another thought for you. Because I write satire (admittedly my sense of humour is weird) and I like to play the devils advocate, I wonder if my readers are sometimes uncertain what my point really is.
So does that mean I should be writing more plainly like I am now and leave the funny stuff to the real comedians?
Or is it controversy like the one I had recently with Darren Rowse that got everyone’s knickers in a knot?
Anyhow, I’m just thinking out loud and I hope that you will help me out and tell us what makes you a lurker or a commenter, whether it be on this blog or another, so we can all benefit and use this as a learning experience to beef up our communities.