Confessions of a lurker

Summer, it’s a great excuse for not blogging, because you know, it’s sunny outside and all that. But to me this break has been of significant value, for alas, I am a lurker.

Lurkers are the sad, shy bunch of web dwellers that are looked down upon by the rest of the Internet. They move alone, come out of the shadows to explore forums and social sites, and then vanish without leaving any trace they were there. To put it short, lurkers consume digital content like every other visitor, but they don’t contribute. It’s estimated that 10% of Internet users create all the content for the rest of us to enjoy. That makes every 9 out of 10 people lurkers, and I’m one of them.

But here I am, writing a blog and at least trying to contribute, so how could I be lurker?  For me blogging is self-medicating, I recognized the symptoms of lurking and thought that there must be a cure, and therefore started a blog. Earlier I tried to heal the affliction by tweeting but clearly more drastic measures were needed. And yes, here are the symptoms that I analyzed before the diagnosis:

  • My account on my favorite forum turned 5 years. Average post count for core users seems to be in the thousands, I’m just past 100.
  • I can proof read one single tweet for ten minutes. And then press delete.
  • Before I like/post/share or do anything on Facebook, I always sing the Finnish “what will others think of me” song first.
  • I laugh at upvote jokes on Reddit although I’ve ever upvoted about two posts.
  • Needless to mention how many posts I’ve made there.
  • And of course, I consume content made by others hours upon hours a day.

What’s mind boggling is that I do digital marketing and social media stuff for living, and consider myself to be quite good at it. So why can’t I function as a private person? Perhaps there’s some peculiar bipolar activity going on between the professional and the private me. The professional me has gotten the pursuit-quality and love-for-all-things-digital traits from the private me, but only shared analytics and brand management in return. Bum luck if your the private me.

Anyway I like to think that lurking can be cured by forcing good content, even if it takes a while to create. Although I don’t want to jump on the lolcat bandwagon, that’s where I draw the line, I have to admit I’m envious of people who can roam the web free of restraints. I guess I just need to accept that there are two kinds of people in the digital world: those who think too much and those who create.


4 thoughts on “Confessions of a lurker

  1. […] same subject in April and I just found his words the other day. I truly felt his words. And then Wizard of Anz (aka Anssi) had written confessions of an online lurker. Surprisingly I found something familiar about his writing as well. Not all, but […]

  2. Sadly it seems I’m almost a lurker specifically when it comes to WordPress. Must have been a month or two sonce my last blog entry, and that wasn’t anything near th profound sorts of things I’ve been wanting to say on it, just a review of some obscure anime I bought off Amazon. Yet I’ll read other people’s blogs plenty (and occasionally comment on them).

    I’m hardly a lurker when it comes to… ahem… Yahoo! Answers, tho’…

  3. Andthat idea about there being those who think too much and those who create… well, that resonates all too clearly with me.

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