"Many attempts to communicate are nullified by saying too much." ~Robert Greenleaf
We all know what lurkers are, in cyber world, right? You may even be one (I am, many times...there, I've admitted it). Lurkers are those people who visit blogs, or chats, or loops, and just sit back and read all the comments without making any themselves. Some people dislike lurkers. I don't. But maybe that's 'cause I tend to be one. Sometimes it's just because I don't have time to leave a comment - sometimes people have already said everything I would want to say anyway. And sometimes I feel like getting information withtout necessarily interacting.
Is that wrong?
I know from Google Analytics that about six times as many people visit my blog each day than leave comments on it. It doesn't bother me. Sure, that "0 Comments" at the bottom of a post doesn't exactly make my day, sometimes. But I understand that some people really do just want to read and not feel that they have to say something at the end.
But what about you? Do you wish lurkers would leave comments? Do you resent that they show up without leaving anything behind to say that they were here?
My mom was telling me the other day about a blog she reads regularly - it's by the wife of one of her nephews, about their journey adopting 2 babies from a foreign country. Lots of pics, info, etc. She doesn't usually comment, but when she does, she does so under the "Anonymous" feature. (People do that occasionally here too...again, I don't mind. Unless it's some kind of flaming negativity, why should I need to know who said it?) A couple of days ago, apparently the woman got irritated that people were lurking and not commenting. The next day, she changed her blog to "private" so that you have to log in with a valid email and user name to read it.
Wonder how many readers she lost?
I guess I can understand that if you're really only blogging for your friends and family, then having a private blog is a good idea. But I'm thinking you should start with that private feature from the beginning. Of course, my goal in blogging was to get potential readers, so the last thing I would want is to turn people away by requiring them to sign in first. I know some loyal readers who don't even like the word verification feature on blogs!
But it does seem a little weird to, without warning, change your public blog to a private one after almost a year of blogging.
Anyway, that's my 2 cents on lurking and private blogs. I've never come across a private one before; have you? And what's your opinion on them, anyway? I'm curious...