Someone raised an interesting point via email and since we seem to be all over the board in terms of openness about our blogs, I turn the discussion to the topic of lurkers.
We have all of these de-lurking weeks and for me, the point is that they're fun. I find new people to read because they finally leave a comment on my blog (hint: I always click over when someone comments to see their blog). But I can't remember ever having someone from the face-to-face world confess to reading on one of those post.
I think there are a multitude of levels of lurking. There are those that I read via Google Reader and if I don't leave a comment, they logically can't know that I read. Which makes me a lurker. I have often given the caveat that if you're on the big blogroll, I read you from time to time even if I don't comment. How do you think we have such a mix each week with the Roundup? But that does make me a lurker if I never comment on a blog and I read it.
Sometimes I read a blog and can't think of anything to say. But neither the writer nor the reader know each other so it is an acceptable form of lurking in my book. I try not to do that, but sometimes it happens. I don't think there is anyone on Google Reader who has never received a comment from me but there are certainly people I read somewhat frequently, but I've never left a comment so they have no clue. Sometimes, if I don't have time to leave comments, I hope that including their news in LFCA stands in place of the recognition given via a comment.
And then there are the people who know you in the face-to-face world--they are not a random online stranger--who read without saying anything. I think it reveals more about their character if they are reading and not letting you know that they are reading (and I am talking about people who continuously check in and not someone who clicked over once and then politely left when they realized you had a play group together). They are the sort who would likely read your diary if you accidentally left it out on the bed and they thought they couldn't get caught. Am I wrong in this assessment? There is something inherently wrong in reading the thoughts of a person you know and not admitting to it. It crosses a line of trust.
My blog is open to the public, therefore, anyone in the world can read it and find it. And I welcome everyone I know in the face-to-face world to read it. To comment or even send me an email from time to time as my friend does that lets me know she is reading. It puts us on level ground when I know what she knows about me. I can also clarify, enlarge, fill-in-the-blanks. Tell more of the story. Because, we all obviously know that only part of the story is contained on the blog. The rest remains in our heads. We pick and choose what makes it to the screen.
So, to summarize my position,
Stranger not commenting = doesn't phase me.
Person in my face-to-face world not admitting to reading = creeps me out.
What is your position on this? Especially those who said even their spouse doesn't know? How would you feel if you discovered he had been reading your blog all along?
Just to clarify...The face-to-face person doesn't need to mention the blog constantly or the fact that they are reading more than once. I am just distinguishing between the people who I know are reading because they told me (or I have them the url) and the people who read continuously who do not step forward and let me know they found my blog.