Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Hiding in Cyber Space [The Art of Lurking]

I'm not sure what possessed me to blog on this topic today, other than I needed an excuse for my absence of late.

The thing about the Web is, you can lurk rather anonymously. You're not some shadowy figure in the corner, or the geeky kid that no one talks to because you're too shy to do much but contemplate your own navel.

In Cyber Space you are well and truly invisible if you want to be. Lurking is easy but there still needs to be some finesse applied. For instance, in order to lurk, you do acutally have to be present. Lord knows I semi-lurk on a lot of my discussion loops. I'm there, in that I get the daily digest every day. I just don't open them. I guess you could call me a bad lurker in that case, because I don't even really show up.

In the blogosphere, I'm a much better lurker. I visit several blogs a day and I often enjoy what I read, but when I find myself sitting with my fingers poised over the keyboard ready to respond, my mind goes curiously blank. I remember the old addage, it's better to be silent and be thought a fool than to speak [or type in this case] and remove all doubt.

So in that case I lurk well. I slink away without commenting and no one knows I've been there. It's not for lack of interest, really - it's just for lack of a pithy comment.

Sometimes I speed lurk. I click around, looking for someplace to land, but nothing catches my fancy and I'm gone in a flash. Again, not true lurking - more like drive-by surfing. It's okay to drive by surf - but you should never drive by-promo, or drive by-comment. People will think you're rude.

On that note, today I delurked. I have great ambitions to delurk more often, really I do, but it's that old blank slate in the noggin' that stops me. You'd think a writer would have a lot to say, but alas - I'm still the geeky kid in the corner.

Nonetheless, you may call me an artiste...I lurk, therefore ... I am.


Frances Pauli said...

Love the labels. i suspect this is a wide spread phenomenon. For myself, I am a serial lurker--can't stop joining lists and little time to post to any, let alone all. Would there be such a thing as a recovering lurker? I bet they have a group, but do they post?
Thanks. great blog.

Bernadette Gardner and Jennifer Colgan said...

LOL! A group for recovering lurkers - 1000 members and no posts.