lurking vs. joining the conversation

In the continuation of the series I’ve been writing this last few days, here’s something I wrote as a part of my New Year’s post at the beginning of last year:
I’m going to comment and interact more on the internets.  Confession: I’m a lurker.

What happened :

I’m still a lurker for the most part although I have got involved in more discussions than I did the previous year.  I even have a few posts on this blog that grew out of comments I made elsewhere:

What I learned:

Engaging with authors by leaving comments is a valuable thing to do.  It…

  • helps with your own creativity.  Some great article ideas have come out of comments I’ve made on other blogs.
  • connects you with other people.
  • connects other people with you.  A good comment will bring traffic to your own blog.

I also learned that it’s hard for me to overcome being a lurker.  This is most likely because of my insane attention to detail and wanting to get things totally right that adds to the time it takes me to write and then I don’t write because it takes too much time.  Sad.  There were a lot of half-written comments this past year that I abandoned because it was taking to long to write.  I’m just not the kind of guy who can just leave a “great post” or “this article sucks” as a comment with out backing up why I think that way.

So, what about you?  Are you a lurker on the internets, or do you feel you have a pretty good handle on this “engaging” thing?  If so, what would your advice be to people like me?

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My name is Darren Ethier. I’m the father of four children and husband of the most beautiful woman in the world. My passion is developing useful and pretty code. I also love anything to do with leadership and the wise use of words. Currently I'm employed as a Code Wrangler with Automattic. Previous to my employment with Automattic, I had my own business, Rough Smooth Engine and my main client was Event Espresso and Event Smart.  I also am the author/founder of the popular series plugin for WordPress, Organize Series.  You may also see me hanging around working on the WordPress Gutenberg Project (currently on the core team there).

3 thoughts on “lurking vs. joining the conversation”

  1. Darren,
    I like to comment, but I think the time thing rings true for me too. I tend to only comment when I have something that I think is really valuable to contribute. (Hopefully this comment won’t be judged in that light…I’m stepping out on a limb).

    I do enjoy reading your posts.

  2. Well, I read this on January 11th, and here it is the 18th, so I’ve lurked for 7 days on this post. All I can say is, “Great post.”

    Actually, I think my most frequent response to a post is either “I agree, and don’t really have anything more to add to what was said,” or “I disagree, and I can’t be bothered to explain why.” It’s time management.

    Now I’ll go back to my lurking.

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