Sunday, February 10, 2008

Lurker? Is That Word Necessary?

Lurking sounds so weird. I'm a pretty regular lurker I suppose, but that blasted word just sounds perverted. I prefer... I don't know... "reader?" Isn't that what people are? We don't call people who read the NY Times "lurkers." Why am I referred to as a "lurker" when I'm just reading a public document? A lurker is a man who looks over a woman's shoulder to check out the cleave. A lurker is a man standing next to you at the urinal and tilts his head your way. (Yes, that's happened. I now go number 1 in stalls.) A lurker is a smelly guy on the subway who is trying to read the funny poem you are writing about him... a lurker is someone at the next table who is eyeballing your food as it arrives from the waiter's hands onto your table.

So... maybe if you had a web cam switched on in your office while you typed or something... you could call me a lurker. But not if you are publishing your stuff on the world wide friggin web.

Essentially, by definition, a lurker poses some kind of threat to the lurkie. Maybe that happens sometimes, but not here. Read away, and never feel guilty. That's why its up here on the dadgum internet. If I didn't want to know what I thought, I'd write a letter to myself. Half the time I think "Lurker" is used by bloggers to get readers to comment so the blogger won't feel depressed because nobody is commenting.

That's all for now. Carry on.

(This paragraph was taken from a much longer blog. My new resolution is to write shorter blog entries. After writing a book or two, its been reeeeeeeal hard to cut these babies short. I mean, just look at how this parenthetical is growing. I can't stop myself. I wanna type type type.)


Chaotic Hammer said...

I feel that the tendency towards writing long blog entries has been my greatest challenge as a blogger. I want to blog, but can't seem to boil my thoughts down to the basics. I seem to want to make each entry a well-developed five-paragraph theme, like I was taught by my English teachers in high school. And I want each entry to be moving to the audience, and effectual in some way.

So instead of writing too-long entries, I've been not blogging at all. Then I come to your blog to write long comments instead. (I'm blogging again this month because of Compassion International, but I'm not sure I'm going to continue after that. We'll see. BTW, like you, I also love long parenthetical remarks. Can't. Seem. To. Stop. Myself.)

But at least I'm not lurking.

Amy said...

I, at times, like to write long blog entries. Sometimes, I just go ahead and do it.

As far as lurking...well it only affects me in that I'm surprised when someone tells me, oh yeah, I read that on your blog when I had no idea they had ever cared previously that I had a blog, because they never told me or commented that they were reading.

majorsteve said...

I had no idea that the term "lurker" had this new definition having to do specifically with people who read blogs and forum threads but do not participate in the discussions. It is not supposed to be a pejorative term but it just sounds rather uncomplimentary if you ask me. As if there's something wrong with just reading. I don't get it.

Seth Ward said...

C-hammer, now, you just need to start out blogging about small, insignificant things. An exercise, or something. Tell yourself that you are going to write "imperfect" blogs. Tell everyone that you will be showing everyone your dirty laundry. Shoot, I do it. If I worried about grammar all the time, i'd never write a post. That's work fit for a book, or something I get paid for. I think there is an unwritten law about blogging: There are no laws. Just do it, succa.

Amy, yeah, I've had that experience. They tell me, "oh, I forgot, you don't like green peppers..." Then they look at me as if their fly is down and admit, "I read your blog." It always baffles me a bit. What's the big deal? Its not like they discovered some secret window into my life. Its not voyeurism. Like I said, its on the WORLD WIDE WEB.

Majorstever, I don't get it either. I think bloggers are insecure by default. They want to know that people care what they think. Which is understandable, but to get people to respond, they throw that word "lurker" out there, as if they are peeping in.

Kelly said...

You are hilarious Seth! :-) I was just browsing through your site and noticed how much you had written that I have missed...due to work, school [I am actually doing my midterm and thought I would take a break...]...I love reading your all that you write and yes you write a lot, but that is great! I will definitely read through all that you have written. As an avid reader/writer myself, I encourage you to keep writing brother! Write a book on your site if you will...Cheers and may God continue to bless you and your wife!