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message 1: by Molly (new)

Molly (slinkyxo) | 153 comments Has anyone every noticed how many lurkers there are on here? I mean..think about many people are in this group versus how many people "talk"...and also..I found out through the Goodreads Feedback group that the views on here are everytime that someone just looks at a thread/reads it but doesn't post anything. Obviously some of them are probably some of us regulars just keeping update but we have nothing to say..but do you every wonder why people just lurk? I'm sure we have some faithful lurkers!

Anyways..the whole reason I am making this thread is for a paper. (Jamie said it was ok that I post this to get help!) But in one of my classes we were talking about different online forums and our experiences and really it was a random conversation about participation and what not regarding social media sites and what not. And really there is a whole psychology behind why people lurk. I'm researching it a little bit..but what I'm really looking for real live people to tell me why they lurk. Maybe you are a lurker here in this group or maybe you are a regular on here but lurk on other sites/groups, etc. So..why do you lurk? What prevents you from participating? I would love if we could get a discussion going on this. I think it would be really interesting for my paper.

I found an interesting article if people want to take a look at it:

I'm looking at a lot of different if lurkers really benefit from online support groups..because there are a ton for different kinds of support groups.

Anyways..discuss away so I have lots to talk about in my paper! :)

message 2: by Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner), The Founding Bookworm (new)

Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner) (perpetualpageturner) | 4407 comments Mod
I was going to read this and then not post because we already talked about it..but I figured I'd give my two cents.

I'm not a lurker here..but I have other groups on Goodreads that I don't participate in frequently. I think sometimes I lurk on those because they are too big and I feel overwhelmed when I try and keep track of what people are saying. Sometimes I feel like people in certain groups are judgmental so I might have an opinion on a certain topic and don't really feel like posting because I don't feel like bickering with people online that I don't even know. And sometimes I think I lurk because I read the topic and I don't really have anything to say that hasn't already been said. In those groups I tend to participate when i have a strong opinion on something or when it's something like..what are you reading..what's your favorite book,etc.

I do always wonder why people join groups and don't participate. I tend to delete groups that I haven't participated in a while. I feel like our group has alot of lurkers..(ps. I feel like lurkers is such a harsh word..more like..alot of people who read threads but are not active participants..) It's always funny when I see people vote on what book we are going to read but have never participated before. I feel like we have a good amount of threads that are easy threads to just join in on when you might feel like an outsider when you are what school you go to..what major..the A to Z quiz. etc. I'd love to hear other thoughts too..because I know why I lurk in certain groups. haha.

I'm going to def check out that article. I didn't know there was actual studies on these things! lol

message 3: by Tami (new)

Tami | 3103 comments Mod
I don't really lurk anywhere, but I have a friend that does what she calls "blog stalking". She does it for ideas for her own blog, to see what everyone out there is blogging about, and just to stalk I guess. I guess I am just a little too vocal and oppinionated to be a lurker. I usually have something to contribute, but I do hold it back some. :)

message 4: by Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner), The Founding Bookworm (new)

Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner) (perpetualpageturner) | 4407 comments Mod
And that's why we love you Tami! :)

Do you think that people who lurk are quiet people in person? I mean..I think I'm pretty much the same. Although I used to be really quiet in my classes as a freshman and sophomore and never participate but then I suddenly got really confident and always participated junior and senior year of college. When I was quiet in class, I was still always "vocal" in online forums. Now I feel like I'm balanced. I talk just as much on here as I do in person..which is alot! :)

message 5: by Sara (new)

Sara I do it sometimes. I try to keep up with groups on here with the readings and conversations. I lurk through most conversations, I don't always comment. I can never keep up with the book voting but I try to follow along with the readings most of the time especially in this group. You always have good pics :)

message 6: by Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner), The Founding Bookworm (new)

Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner) (perpetualpageturner) | 4407 comments Mod
I do that alot in other groups too, Sara. I might read the same book but I don't always feel like jumping in the middle of a discussion or have time to sit down and read through all the comments and post. I wish I did have more time to do that with every book..but I don't. :(

message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

i lurk most of the time in other groups simply due to the fact that i dont have something intelligent to write or i dont agree with something and dont want to make a big deal of things.. Sometimes i do it here as well, especially in the support group threads, i mean i just want help people through their difficult times and when i decide to help i end up not posting because i loose my thoughts.

message 8: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly (kimberlywithat) | 2140 comments When I "lurk" (you're right Jamie, it really is a harsh word. lol) it usually is because I want to still keep up on what is happening with the people in the group, but don't have enough time to post any comments. Sometimes I'll start to type a comment and realize that I don't have to time to finish, or that I just don't care. lol.

message 9: by Jen (new)

Jen (wishesandwanderlust) | 696 comments I 'lurk' more than I post.

Sometimes it's because a conversation is going on between certain people and I feel like I would be "interupting", or I don't want to repeat something that has been said multiple times already.

Or sometimes I even have a comment typed out but then I decide it sounds dumb so I delete it and end up not saying anything at all.

Oh, and I'm definitely more of a "quiet" person, especially around new people.

Abigail (42stitches) | 53 comments I'm a really introspective person. And while I love a good conversation, I listen more than I talk most of the time. Partly it's because I tend to make really crass jokes in RL and that bothers most people. Online, I am more vocal because I can write something, reread and rethink it, then share it.

I'm on a couple other forum websites. Meez and Gaia. My activity is about the same as on GR which is pretty active. As in 1-5or more posts a day depending on how popular the thread or group is. I'm in about 12 GR groups and some of them just aren't that active. I am more active in the top 6 that always show up on the home page than any others.

I do lurk sometimes when something sparks my curiosity, but I find I have nothing to add. Or when my opinion has already been voiced to death, I usually don't share until I come up with something new to add. Sometimes I lurk when I'm just looking for news or new music to look into.

I don't do blogs though. I have some friends that I keep up with through facebook and livejournal, but I don't do much with my facebook account, and I'm not really interested in an online journal.

message 11: by Molly (new)

Molly (slinkyxo) | 153 comments Good points everyone! thanks for the responses! Keep them coming!

Jamie: I agree..lurkers IS such a harsh word. lol

Sara: I do agree with you..sometimes it's easy to feel as though you are jumping in the middle of a conversation in a particular thread. I used to be afraid to do that..but this group is so open that I don't mind. But I definitely won't do that in other groups on here.

And like most of you said..sometimes you just really DON'T have anything new to add to the topic.

message 12: by Jessica (new)

Jessica | 143 comments I've been lurking alot. Sometimes I don't come here for a while and then I get too self conscious because there are so many new people and I don't want to just jump right into a conversation. I should get over that one.

message 13: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly (kimberlywithat) | 2140 comments Jessica wrote: "I've been lurking alot. Sometimes I don't come here for a while and then I get too self conscious because there are so many new people and I don't want to just jump right into a conversation. I sho..."

You should! I love it when a group of us are in a discussion, and someone new pops in!

message 14: by Shelly (new)

Shelly | 13 comments i always lurk in the group just out of habbit. and never thought it's hard for me to open the webside here.because its speed is so slow.

message 15: by Paula (new)

Paula | 101 comments I like seeing what other people have to say, but I tend not to post because I tend to forget when I've posted things and then never follow up. So I'm a lurker more out of forgetfulness than anything. I will leave a comment or two on things, but I'm not really good at keeping a whole online conversation going.

message 16: by Edina (new)

Edina | 24 comments Once there already is a big conversation going I figure it'd be strange to suddenly comment on the actual post.

message 17: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (_jes) For me, the great thing about socializing online is that I have time to think about how I'm going to respond. Even if I already have an idea of how I'm going to respond to a question or participate in a discussion or even just make a comment about some detail of my everyday life, having to type it all out gives me way more time to evaluate my thoughts than if I were saying it in person. Plus, there's the advantage of being able to go back and review what I've written before actually posting it.

The only thing is, it's this extra time that usually stops me from fully participating in a thread or opening up a discussion! About halfway through most of my responses, I go over what I have so far and decide it's not worth posting. I guess you could say that in my extra time to think about what I'm going to say, I really just overthink it.

message 18: by David (new)

David (canadiandave) I was going to lurk on this one because I don't like following all the discussions (how many do we have going in this group?), but I do get on sometimes and I like to see what the group is talking about. I do follow several of the discussions though.

message 19: by Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner), The Founding Bookworm (new)

Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner) (perpetualpageturner) | 4407 comments Mod
David..I agree. Sometimes I just follow some of them but don't participate in all of them because I just don't have that kind of time. I do check every single thread out of moderator duties to make sure things are going ok..but I don't always participate.

message 20: by Jardley (new)

Jardley Hmm most of the reason why I lurk on different sites instead of commenting is weird stuff within myself. Mostly its overthinking. Sure its the usual not knowing what to contribute to the post but its also me thinking that the person won't like/or want my opinion there. That or the ratio that I consider commenting too much. That last part is verymuchso in particular on blogs. Its as if I fear that the person will think because I comment on their post more than say twice ever theyll think Im creepy or stalking their blog. I may have comments to give but its mostly a self sabotage thing. I dont know how to not overthink it all. So I lurk I guess.

message 21: by Molly (new)

Molly (slinkyxo) | 153 comments thanks everyone!

message 22: by Paulabits (new)

Paulabits Ok probably I'm late but I lurk a lot.
Mainly (is that ok? xD) because English is not my native language, so I don't want to make a fool of myself posting with grammar mistakes or sometimes is really hard finding the right words.
So if someone else has posted something similar, I feel is all said.

Also, called me lazy, but if the comments are very large I simply don't read them.

message 23: by Jen (new)

Jen (wishesandwanderlust) | 696 comments I've been trying to be better and not 'lurk' as much as I used too! Some days it's like I'm on a roll with commenting and other days I don't have anything to say.

message 24: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly (kimberlywithat) | 2140 comments You aren't the only one in this group who speaks English as their second language! :) I can't remember who specifically but I remember comments about trying to find the right words in English. I'm an English Major and I still make grammar mistakes...

message 25: by Emily (new)

Emily Don't worry about making mistakes!! I can only speak one language :( So I'm impressed by anyone who is bilingual :)

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