Sunday, February 04, 2007

MBS Spanko Brunch #55

Thursday was Groundhog Day here in the US. The time-honored folk legend suggests that if the groundhog sees his shadow, he will return to his warm burrow and winter will continue. However, if he sees no shadow, so the tale tells us, spring is on its way.

I don't think I buy any of that, but there are people who hide in metaphorical groundhog holes. Perhaps it's for fear of shadows, but more likely they simply prefer to not be observed. On the web, we commonly refer to such individuals as lurkers.

A few months ago, many spanko blogs worked in concert to celebrate a Love Our Lurkers day. It was a tremendous success and great fun for all who participated. I expect we will organize another similar event in the future. In the meantime, I've been pondering the mind of a lurker and wondering about their motivation.

I presume that lurkers return here the second time because they are at least somewhat interested in our subject matter. But the question remains -- What prevents people from joining the discussion? Do they feel they have nothing to add? Are they simply pressed for time? Do they fear being outed? Are they waiting to be invited? Are their own feelings perhaps somewhat in transition? So, today's questions are:

What motivates lurkers to remain silent? Is it possible to convince them to participate in the community? If so, how might we do that?

I'm hoping that at least a few new faces will find these questions too good to bypass. Whether old friend or newcomer, I invite you to add your voice to the chorus. Just leave a comment containing your thoughts or send me an e-mail.

I look forward to reading your insight!


pherring05 said...

I lurk mainly due to time issues. I do also belive that I am younger than most people here, and tend to learn quite a bit from reading. Keep up the good work everyone and I hope not to lurk in the future.

Anonymous said...

I have to second pherring05. When I'm in school I pull 15 hours, and when I'm not I work a full time job so I don;t have much time. Also, I don't have much experience (read as: none), it is all fantasy to me, and so when brunch questions pertain to things I would only be able to comment on from experience, I have nothing to say. Sometimes I can speculate about what I MIGHT like (or not), or how I'd hope a relationship would go, but I really have nothing of substance to contribute.


New Beginnings said...

I lurked for a long time. Well it felt like a long time. At first I didn't comment because I had no idea how to. I hope most people are sharper that that. But then I hesitated because I did not have any experiences to share. I was finally drawn in by your openness to answer questions and help others feel more comfortable with thoughts and feelings they might have hidden for years.

The rest is history as they say; once I started talk out here I just could not shut up. I enjoy commenting and writing my own blog. Taking the plunge and commenting here the first time led me to many new and very dear friends and it improved my marriage 1,000 percent!!

Thanks for your blog Bonnie,

Amber said...

Well, I didn't comment cause I wanted to comment on Adele's and Abel and Haron's blogs but I had to provide my email address for that which I didn't want to do. Then I came up with a made up name and created the email address explicitly for illicit purposes. And then I just began to comment, but I too started on the spanko delurk day!

foxthatsspanked said...

For me, sometimes its a lack of experience, sometimes its because I have nothing to add, and sometimes its time. I LOVE to read the spanking stories...I love to roam the net reading spanking stories...many blogs I have found came straight from links here and at one other specific blog. I figure if you and/or she is linked, its probably a blog worth taking a look at...and in fact, the blogs that I link on my own blog are ones that I read regularly. I delurk when I have something worth adding otherwise I just read and usually go attack the Hubby.

Anonymous said...

i have to admit that i lurk but this is because i have nothing to add and no real expreance. i hope that ine day i will have the exprance to make it posable for me coment properly exept on delurking topics. that and my spelling is atrosious wich tends to put me off put fingers to keyboard.

Anonymous said...

I think it's probably because they're shy, Bonnie, something I can completely understand because I'm a shy person, too. The main thing that prompted me to post my first time here was how welcoming a community your blog really is.


JohnA said...

I don't usually comment for most of the same reasons as above, time, lack of experience, and most importantly, by the time I get the blog read, there are already several comments that pretty much echo what I was going to say. Oops, same situation here again. Anyway, if I find myself with something original to contribute, I will try to next time.

Mary said...

Originally it was the need to keep my identity private - or often not really having anything to add. Finally I started talking at Bonnie's brunch and a couple other sites. Now I think I say too much. I also recall feeliing that I simply wanted to read and enjoy and didn't have the time/energy to say anything.

Danielle said...

Hi Bonnie,
Sometimes I'm a lurker, although I comment from time to time.
There's a whole range of reasons for not to do that.
#1 I'm slow with formulating.
#2 Sometimes some one already said what I intended to say.
#3 There are blogs I've the feeling with I'm outside their community, because I'm not on Blogger my self.
#4 If there are a lot of comments I often think mine isn't needed afterall.
#5 There are posts that don't attract your interest.
#6 I think it's important for a commenter to get some responce. If I never get that I stop commenting.
#7 I prefer to note on blogs from people, who don't get comments or just a few.

Anonymous said...

Time, writing skills, other people in the home and finaly privacy. In the past I thought I was being anonymuse and my full name poped up after I posted.
I love reading about spanking I feel good to know their are other spankos out there. These things do not usualy come out in a normal daily conversation. I like reading other peoples stories. I am an active play spankee yet my stories I do not know how to pass on.

Anonymous said...

In the distant past, back when folks posted on message board forums... we lurked because we felt our knowledge was so ridiculously lacking that no one would care to hear us. People were talking about things so far beyond what we were doing, there just didn't seem to be a point to jump and look naive.

In time though, we did pop our heads out of our little ground-hog hole and found we fit in a lot better than we'd thought. Those with dungeons and whips were pretty friendly! That we played at a far tamer level wasn't a problem at all. Almost everyone could identify with where we were at, because they'd been there before. We really did find our time much more enjoyable when we started contributing occasionally.

Since then, only time constraints will keep us from participating.

The spanking community is generally very friendly, and accepting of all kinds of spanko interests. We very much encourage lurkers to step out and see their shadow!

~Todd & Suzy

Anonymous said...

Surely what most bloggers desire first and foremost is readers. Some readers may also be writers, but that is relatively rarely the case. In my own work, I write frequently in response to my reading, but I probably read more than a hundred texts before trying to compose one.

I have read your blog for some time, and always with pleasure. But this last post has made me feel that I am not welcome as a reader if I am not willing to delurk. Am I the only one who feels that the term "lurker" is more than a little pejorative?

Paul said...

Bonnie, I came out to CWS, found The Garden through her, and CeeCi recommended one of your posts.

I've been a spanko all of my life, imagine my heartfelt pleasure when I discovered a community living the lifestyle all in their own unique ways.

Since my partner died I've been one lonely spanko, I'm not any more, like PK I have found many friends.

Thanks Bonnie for providing a place for us to meet, a friendly atmosphere and even refreshments. *G*

Warm hugs,

kasey said...

Hi Bonnie! To avoid lurking today I decided to say hi, even though I have nothing to add. :) Kasey

Bonnie said...

First, I want to welcome everyone who joined our brunch for the first time. I’m glad you’re here.

I've always said that I love my readers. I’m delighted that you’ve chosen to spend some time with us. My gratitude applies regardless of whether readers join the discussion. I would never want anyone to feel they are unwelcome.

I encourage delurking because I think most people have something valuable to say. I, for one, would love to hear it. Even in the absence of real world experience, we all have fantasies. It is from these vivid fantasies that the best adventures grow.

As for the term "lurker," I recognize that some folks find it objectionable. Unfortunately, it's the word most people know and use. If there's a more charitable synonym, I'll be happy to substitute.

I can see how an occasional reader might think that we spanko bloggers are a closed clique. Please let me assure you that this isn’t the case. While we certainly acquire friends through this process and develop great fondness for them, newcomers are always welcome. I love to meet a new spanko and exchange ideas and insights. There cannot be too many enthusiastic spankos for our community.

In any case, thanks for joining us and adding your voice (or not!).

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