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For all the lurkers out there

Hi there, lurker.

I know you come here and read my posts but for any number of reasons, you don’t leave a comment.

Well, because I’m generous and fabulous, I have added a feature just for you.  At the bottom of each post, before the comments, there’s a little “Like” button that you can click if you lurk but still want to leave your mark.

A small part of me hates that I’m doing this, enabling lurking, when I should be encouraging each of you to let your voice be heard.  Every single one of your comments is as important as someone else’s, and I appreciate each one individually.

So, to sum up:  You should always leave a comment, but if that proves too much for your mind to handle, click the little “Like” button instead.  Or, do both.  We’ll totally be BFFs.

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162 Replies to “For all the lurkers out there”

  1. Dave2

    Where’s the “dislike” button?

    I don’t think that “lurker” means what you think it means. Lurkers don’t WANT to leave a mark. They just lurk in the shadows and observe. Hence their name. All the FaceBook “like” crap does is allow would-be-commenters to “like-and-run”… destroying blog interactivity even further than it already has deteriorated. You complain about losing a relationship with your readers, now you’re contributing to the problem even as you say you’re fixing it? You get awesome comments here, and you want to risk losing that? For what? Assumably you have a stats package to give you a visitor count (if that’s what you’re after). What does this really do for you?

    After I see your post appear in my feed reader, get the announcement on Twitter, find it re-posted on your Tumblr, and get a link to it in my Facebook, I have to wonder how long it will be until I can “like” the tweet to your Tumblr for your Facebook from your webfeed and not have to visit your blog to comment at all. I suppose it’s only a matter of time, since I can already “like” the link to your post from your Facebook?

    • Avitable

      @Dave2, I don’t see it as contributing to the problem. I think that people who have something to say will still say something. People who have nothing to say won’t comment at all. Now, at least, they can do something.

      Now as far as what it does for me? It’s not about the current traffic – if people “like” the post, it shows up on their Facebook stream and maybe someone else will click on it and enjoy what they read as well. I’ll give it a try for a while and see what I think.

  2. SciFi Dad

    I was going to ask about a dislike button too, but Dave beat me to it.

    Lurking bugs me as well, but I lurk here because my comments would mostly be of the “this is funny” or “this was disturbing” variety. So, I wait until I feel like what I have to say adds something. Make sense?

  3. Catnap

    I don’t blog, I don’t twitter, I can barely keep my FB status updated, and I have no freaking clue how I stumbled upon your blog…but, you have become my early morning guilty pleasure. So good job, ‘like’, LOL and all that hoopla.

    (And sorry, I’m not a blogger, so my blogging etiquette skills are lacking and I didn’t mean to be an offensive lurking lurker.)

  4. mapsgirl

    I don’t like you like.

    Let me explain…. I read your blog in the mornings at work, I can’t just lurk and click the “like” button. Work has blocked facebook and I can’t see the button. Therefore I must comment (if I can come up with something that sounds sane at this time of the morning).

  5. Mrs. Hall

    yeah. lurkers. I use to really want to hear what everyone said then well, people started talking and well, I write emotionally evocative stuff so I get a lot of personal sharing in the comments. Which is fine, except then I feel a certain responsibility towards that kind of comment. Which I don’t want to feel because I am a psychiatric nurse practitioner by day and all day I hear people’s stuff/issues. I help people all day. I don’t want to do that with my blog. So, in a way, lurkers give me a break.

    Also, on the subject of lurking, I don’t think you’ve ever commented on my blog. Either you’re a lurker or haven’t read anything yet. Either way, rock on Avitable-you’ve got quite the blog here! 🙂

  6. Jen O.

    Here I am, de-lurking. I don’t think I’ve commented before. I’m a long time lurker, though. Anyway … so, how’s it going? Good? You’re good? Good. Um, how about that sports team, eh? *sigh* This is why I lurk. I’m gonna go.

  7. cagey

    I began reading you because of Faiqa after I met her at BlogHer. I figured if she was friends with you, then you must not be such a prick, after all. Of course, I quickly determined that impression was wrong, but hey! I am still here, still reading. I’m easily suckered in by the talents of those with a Paint application.

    All kidding aside, the comment game is hard. Some bloggers get inane comments like “OMG, your dog is so cute!” and their readers will line up like zombies to take turns with such inane commenting. And I want to punch those bloggers in the face. I have a fucking adorable West Highland Terrier. Where the hell is my comment love?

  8. Kristin

    Eh. Is lurking so bad? I don’t comment on every one of my FB friend’s statuses either. I’ve commented here before but you’re right, not every time. You want honesty? I guess I only make the effort to hit “post comment” when something strikes me exceptionally intriguing. AND don’t you pull an estrogen-whine on me and go “but you don’t like what I write a lot of the time?” No, it’s not that. It’s just that sometimes you write stuff that makes me laugh out loud and makes my day and other times I just go “eh.” Again, hold the estrogen. Because my “eh” is someone else’s LOL. And you know it’s true.

    But I get it. It’s like when you post a witty FB status and NO ONE likes it or comments on it and well, suddenly you’re sitting at the Alone Table at Lunch. And you fuss over it, worry over it and wonder why people don’t like you. When the reality is nothing more than most people have over 200 “friends” (ha, don’t make me go there) and therefore, your status gets lost in the crowd. Same goes with blogs…I check all the blogs I love at one time and well, sometimes I comment and sometimes I don’t.

    🙂 Self esteem, baby. You need to gauge your blog worth by how many visitors you have not comments 🙂

  9. SisterMerryHellish

    Before I started blogging, I’d read my favorite blogs later at night and, by then, their were few things that hadn’t already been said in the comments section. Plus I didn’t realize how easy it is to leave a comment even though I didn’t have a WordPress ID, etc. I would have been doing it a long time ago! Blogging, commenting and sex. I held out on all three way too long.

  10. Natasha

    As I don’t have Facebook (it would truly be against all that is lurking, and I just cannot have that) I cannot utilize the like feature.

    But since I’m de-lurking to comment, I should go ahead mention that you’re awesome and I love your blog. 🙂

    *resumes lurking*

  11. Becky

    I got totally turned around lost and confused with Dave2’s comment, but I’m easily confused so that’s probably not saying much. I have the “Like” button on my blog, and I have FB comments on my blog posts too. Not that it makes much difference, I don’t get much traffic or comments, but I thought wth.

    So I left a comment and I pushed your button. We’re BFF’s now, right?

  12. nolfo

    I read your blog almost daily, but I lurk and never leave comments since I feel guilty enough reading blogs rather than doing real work. The time it would take me to craft an acceptably witty comment would far outstrip the time I have allotted for fun :0 There, are you happy?!

  13. hpflo

    I’m a lurker 🙂
    It’s really nice to know that you are a great listener and that other peoples voices are heard!
    I look forward to your posts everyday!
    Keep up the great job 🙂
    And I will make it a point to comment and stop ‘just’ lurking 😉

  14. J

    From my perspective-

    Adam Adam-

    You continue to loath the lurker. Why does this irritate you so? I AM a lurker…well, I guess I have commented a few times… but mainly I just like reading your blog. I don’t feel the need to constantly pipe in and leave my 2 cents…. I read your blog for ME… to make ME smile, to make ME laugh, to have MY mindless moment of pleasure entertainment reading. I don’t read it to feed your ego…or fill up your dashboard with views and stats. Do you loath the lurker because we don’t validate you each day by telling you how funny you are?? Well- we are reading it- right, isn’t that enough validation? Here you go – your blog is effin hilarious. I have it in my reader because it is oh so much more entertaining than anything that my personal friends would ever say or tweet or update their facebook status with. I secretly wish I had a male friend just like you…that would love me and remember my birthday – even post a pic of me on my birthday. That would go for pedicures with me or sit in a coffee shop until 3 am talking about life and the nuances of people. Or would stop by my messy house and not care and sit and drink wine on the couch and listen to music and listen to me “whine” about my oh so pathetic dating life.

    If you don’t want the average NON Blogger types reading your blog- why have it open to the public. Why not just keep it closed off to you and your blogger crew and you guys can comment on each other’s posts and validate each other…. And add in trite comments like “I laughed so hard I almost spit my coffee out”

    I have about 7 blogs in my reader that I look at almost every day. Most of them I found thru YOUR blog roll. They are your friends… I don’t consider this lurking… I consider it my entertainment reading. Do you want me to stop?

    I have commented on Miss Britt… kind of like “I hear ya sister”. I love love love Shaunaglenn – yet I have never ever posted a single comment there. I have sent her posts all over the place to my friends because…well she is just so funny! When I read your post where you tried to suck your own dick… well it made me think of a Bukowski poem I had read. I searched high and low to find it so that I could send it your way… but I couldn’t find it in the 3 minutes I allotted to that task… so I just didn’t comment. I laughed, but no comment.

    I completely understand the need for validation- I have been known to seek it out myself. I love when random strangers come up to me and say- WOW you have great hair! I love it. Not sure why…why I care WTF total strangers think about my hair, but I do.

    Adam- you have great hair!


    • Avitable

      @J, first of all, thanks for the comment – it made me laugh. Secondly, it’s not about validation – it’s about blogging as a community. I see lurkers as wallflowers who are reluctant to join in while the rest of us are socializing and dancing. I don’t want anyone to feel left out – this isn’t a clique or a small group – if you are reading my blog, you belong to my community and your insight is important.

      Where do you live? Maybe I’ll come visit someday and we can go get pedicures.

  15. bo

    I go through phases. Sometimes I comment for a month or so, and then go back to lurking. If I have something to say I’ll say; if not I won’t.

    But I always read. That’s the more important part. Your blog is not the place I feel I need to voice my opinions. I have my own, long-neglected blog for that. Your blog is about you, and I stop by here to see how you’re doing. And for a chance to see your schlong. But whether or not I comment (or even engage in the abhorrent ‘like’) is entirely my choice and you should in no way rate the viability of this blog (or you) on the degree to which you elicit public input. It should matter more to you that I read your blog every day and that I’ve stopped by here pretty much every day for the last five-and-a-half years. I don’t even catch up with ‘real’ friends that often.

    If you want conversation, find some conversation. If you want to feel better about your blog, look that the non-unique visitors every day. Just because I have nothing to add to the conversation doesn’t mean I’m not filled with AvitaLove.

    • Avitable

      @bo, I also see the “Like” button as a way for people to share this blog with their friends on Facebook which might also welcome new people into this little community I’ve cultivated over almost seven years of blogging. As much as I hate to admit it, Facebook is an overwhelming force, especially in the lives of those who are not entirely comfortable with the Internet. Rather than try to avoid it, I should embrace those people as well. And grab their asses.

  16. Neeroc

    I’m not sure why I even bother to read you in my feed reader, it just means I’m going to click through seeing as I have diarrhea of the mouth (fingers? ew) You need a ‘shut the hell up button’ for people like me.

    Your like button actually freaks me out a bit. I’m keeping my eye on it.

  17. Kate

    We lurk because we love. And commenting from my Blackberry in a pain in the ass. And I rarely have anything interesting to add. And my spelling is usually really bad. And comment boxes don’t have spell chack. CHECK. Damn it! See? I’m done!

    But you… YOU are fabulous.

  18. lceel

    In order to assure a fair and balanced representation of your ‘lurkers’ and Non-lurkers, I think there ought to a an “FU” button to go along with the “LIKE” button. Actually, it should be “FY”, because “You” doesn’t begin with “U” it begins with “Y”. Why? I have no idea.

  19. Dar

    I’m a lurker BUT because you asked……..I miss the Hitler header. It cracked me up every time I opened your page; somehow it always caught me by surprise. Which may say a lot about me: short attention span, short memory, easy to entertain, but it did and I miss it. Enjoy your wit, art work, and insights.

  20. Laurie

    I have to say that you are one of my most favorite people because not only do you feel that way about your commenters, but you also almost always reply to each one. I think there is already extra incentive to comment here because you have a wonderful dialogue with your readers, verses other blogs where a comment seemingly ends up at the end of the Internet unread or cared about.

  21. Issa

    I like your like button.

    I started reading after last years Man panel at BH. Not sure why I never commented until recently. Possibly because the first time I clicked over and read the comments, I realized they were hysterically funny. Now you won’t be able to get rid of me.

    Of course when you realize how bad I am at WWF, you may block me or something.

  22. Patti

    I lurk. And I could make up a bullshit reason about how I do it because I don’t have the time (yeah, I do) or I don’t have the funny (I can be amusing) or I don’t have anything to say (try to shut me up once I’m on a roll), but it would all be bogus. Let’s keep it real here. Usually I’m reading blogs after work while I’m watching the Gilmore Girls on ABC Family, and I mean to comment, but then Lorelei leaves Luke for Chris, or dumps Max for no apparent reason, or Rory keeps going back to that stupid Jess, and I just get so damn mad. I mean, Chris? Jess? Are you kidding me? And I forget to comment.

    I’ll try to do better, but I think you can see that I am up against a near-insurmountable obstacle to commenting.

  23. Aeron

    Touche Adam, well played.
    Blogs for me are an escape from the everyday where I can go and relax, have a few laughs, etc. Not always do I have the time to comment on all the blogs I follow or even want to comment. It’s not that I don’t appreciate them, in face quite the opposite. Blogging for you is probably everyday, all day. For me its half an hour a day or every other day. I will make this pledge today that I will make more of an effort to comment on my blogs. Not only yours, but all that I follow, to give back to the community.

  24. CharissaRenee

    I lurk on every blog I read, not just yours. I think it’s because I see blogs as books, and I was taught very early in my life and very firmly that books are not to be written in. So I guess I think I’d be marring the page of a book I like an awful lot by leaving a comment.
    That’s the explanation that makes sense at this moment anyways…
    I’m strange, yes.

  25. Elizabeth @ Table for Five

    I Liked your Like, great idea! I whine all the time to my blog friends about comments, and they tell me to get over myself. Most people read blogs in a feed reader, or on their phone, or they open 25 tabs and just click, click. Understanding that doesn’t mean I still don’t wish I was one of those bloggers who could post anything and have hundreds of people comment. “I have a hangnail. The End.” “OMG ME TOO!” “Me too!” “LOLSNORT”

    I get your feed in my email and click through to comment because you take the time to reply. Which makes me feel special and important. It’s the little things, you know 🙂

  26. Randa

    I haven’t liked, but I’ll comment. I’ve been lurking. And lurking. And then today I had to copy your 30 Days post. Well not all of it. Just the prompts. Because I’m having problems with what to write and I figured that might help. Anyway I did give you credit though! I figured that since I’m “borrowing” without asking I should warn you that I’m doing it as well. And probably should have put this comment on THAT post. Ugh. I should go and comment on that one now too huh?

  27. Katharina

    I tried to like it, but I’m not on (or in? or at? or with? Whatever it is the cool kids say…) this facebook thing. I don’t like that. So… I’ll just stick to reading for now.
    Please write.

  28. Meg

    I probably look like a lurker. I read all the time, but my comments only submit about 2% of the time. The rest of the time it just says it’s loading….then nothing. Then I cry myself to sleep because my witty bullshit isn’t being shared with the world.

    So that’s my excuse. Heh. Perhaps I should stick to the damn lurker button.

  29. s okuns

    OK so I’m a confirmed Lurker!! I love your blog, but sometimes I have to read it on the go… so sorry not to comment, but i think i have a crush on you..(husband and 2 kids to boot) not really…but could happen.

  30. Employee No. 3699

    I don’t read all your posts, because I apparently missed this one, and comment on occasion. I admit that at times I pull the shy card and at others I just don’t have anything significant to say. I’m thinking of using the following comment in these cases just so you know I was here:


    Hugs and Kisses,

    It’ll be our little secret…well, until someone else happens upon this post on your sidebar.

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