>>>>> "CVR" == Chuq Von Rospach <chuqui @
CVR> I've actually spent time tracking down and interviewing
CVR> lurkers, to see why they lurk. It pretty much boils down to:
CVR> 1) by the time I'd get around to saying something, someone
CVR> else already has.
CVR> 2) I don't feel qualified to comment on it. (which I can say
CVR> is definitely not true for many of the lurkers I've talked
CVR> to, but in many cases, it's a polite way of saying:)
CVR> 3) I don't feel like fighting for face time on the list.
Two other observations from my lurkers:
4) Some folks are just not very comfortable or proficient with the
simple act of typing. It can take them a very long time or a lot
of effort to compose messages so they don't do it very often.
Maybe they're dyslexic, or maybe they aren't a native speaker,
5) The more shy lurkers will often contact list members or list admins
directly to ask questions, much like at a public lecture where some
people are too shy to stand in front of the mic, but will come up
after your presentation.
I think it's fine if people want to lurk, but I'm also happy to see
experiments like Chuq's which encourage folks to participate in low
stress (and hopefully enjoyable) ways. Lurkers tend to think a lot
instead of just (ahem, guilty as charged :) spewing the first thing
that comes to mind, so when they /do/ contribute, it's often with
I also like ideas that are morphing traditional discussion mailing
lists into more diverse communication tools. I've had some ideas
about autoblogging newsletters which I'd love to find time to play
with <wink>. I'm a dinosaur so I'm comfortable with email, but there
are lots of ways to participate. Email is almost just an