Abracadabra--Turn Lurkers into commenters!

Image Courtesy: http://xkcd.com/369/

A few years back, when I did not have a blog, a friend (actually husband’s friend) came home for dinner. I was super impressed and was in awe, almost reverential when she mentioned that she has a blog. I remember taking down the URL from her and reading what she had written.

More than the content of her blog,I think it was the fact that someone whom I know personally, actually writes regularly and gets responses that fascinated me. Till then, no one in my circle had a blog.

Sometime later, I met a guy at my Salsa class. He too mentioned his blog and wanted me to read it and leave comments. I read it but I was so hesitant to leave any kind of comment. The next day I told him what I felt about his post.

This was a couple of years ago.

Now that I have my own blog, I know how much comments mean to bloggers. When I first started writing, I had no idea that so many would read what I have to say. It was out of desperation that I was reaching out. When I started getting responses, I was delighted.

There is term coined for people who read blogs and don’t leave comments—they are called ‘Lurkers’. Years back, I was a lurker. So I understand well why lurkers do not leave comments. Many of them feel that they may sound foolish—or they may feel that whatever they have to say has been said by others. Or they may just feel that what the blogger said is silly and irrelevant.Or they may be scared to reveal their identity online.(rare--but I know someone who is) Either way—they read and leave. (click on the coloured word to know more)

Since blogging is purely a passion for most of us, I feel the least you can do to reward your favorite blogger is to leave a comment! People—we don’t get paid for blogging.(despite google ad sense.I refuse to install it) We blog to connect. We blog to voice out what we feel. We blog to share. If you read and keep quiet, how will an interaction happen?

If you are shy to leave a comment(but want to) , the best way would be to NOT read other comments before posting. That way you don’t have to worry about what others said or did not say. The very very least you can do is just type “It was an interesting post” (just 22 letters. That isn’t asking for too much, surely!) So, Emerge, all ye who lurk and transform into commenter!! (Touches your head with magic wand)

Of course I subscribe one hundred percent to the dictum that you should leave a comment only if you found the post interesting or ‘comment worthy.’ I also believe in the dictum that if you have nothing to say on your blog, you should be silent! An ‘empty post’, posted just for the sake of posting, is really polluting the blogosphere.

Don’t you agree?


  1. very nice blog.i liked the template of your blog and yes now i am not a lurker.

    this post is very interesting.and i dont have time to go through all of your post but afterwards i will surely read your other posts.
    keep it up :)

  2. and yes i have added yr blog in my list

    check my blog too


    i hope you will reply.

  3. I am the first one to comment, so I do not run the risk of being repetative :D

    I agree cent percent with you, comments can really make a blogger's day, be it positive or negative, it is a way of knowing that someone is reading and appreciating his/her writting, which gives immense satisfaction. As for 'empty posts', why have a blog when you have nothing to share, which is hard to believe as human lives are but a compilation of experiences.

  4. For commenting I follow another rule besides the one you have mentioned in this post. There are times when I like the post but cannot think of anything interesting to say so I just leave a smiley as a comment ":)"

    I'm not sure if the blogger appreciates it but its my way of telling the that I read their post and liked it.

    What do you feel about it? is there anyone who gets annoyed by seeing just a smiley as the comment?

  5. Hi Peetri How are you doing. Blogging is great fun isn't it as well as the comments. I especially like comments on my writing for which I unfortunately haven't much time. It continuesly amazes me were people get the time to write so much poetry and articles. I am still enjoy visiting you here.

  6. HI Preeti,
    Fully agree with you. Comments on the blog it not only a source of inspiration but certain comments from experienced bloggers helps in improving our skills too.

    When i started blogging, i used to browse my url every couple of hours to look for a comment on my post.

  7. I always leave a comment just so the blogger knows I've read the post.

  8. theres also another reason behind commenting, its to introduce themselves to the blogger and to get someone to read their blog...

    initially thts how i got traffic to my inane thoughts...

    ( iam such a shameless blog whore)

    i remember the first comment i got from someone who was not bullied into reading my blog by being my relative or my friend....it felt great to be acknowledged...

    i know tht i will blog even if i dont get any comments...but thts becoz i was tht child who used to talk to himself ...

  9. Ahh..this is one of the most sensible and thought provoking post I've read in a while.. :)

  10. Hi Preeti,

    Am delurking after having read this post of yours :) Been reading your blog for sometime now & I just love the way you write; you emanate so much of positivity from your blog.

    Also, I love your house from your descriptions/pictures.

    Keep up the good work!!!


  11. it sure is a ncie feeling to read the comenst. ia gree with u abt teh lurker part - when i see lot fo commenst on a blog on which i want to comment, what i do is, just skip all teh commenst and tell what i hv to day. so, no need to think/realsie taht soem oen else have already toald whan i wanna tell. nice post.. :)

  12. Hi Preethi! I'm in exactly the same situation as you were before you started writing blogs. I don't have much idea of how to start writing a blog( though sometimes i think I should give it a try.)so whenever I read your blogs it is the same awe I feel that you felt for your friend!

  13. you sure got a few people out of their closets back there :)

    i agree about the 'empty post' bit but i think they are also in some way crying to be heard and seen and accepted, don't you think.

    and i think many people go through busy phases (i do) when they manage to just about read the posts but don't manage to comment.

    and many people don't feel like commenting. no matter what! and i think its ok.

    i agree with tys that though comments do help, many will keep blogging on, comments or no comments!

  14. Hey thts so true wht u mentioned in ur post. I got to know abt ur blog thru one of my frn's blog where u had posted a comment and then I read almost all of ur posts and enjoed readin every bit of it bec I cud relate to it in some way or the other however never left ny comment, I think I dont have to tell y...Now I did just wht u mentioned not to read ny previous comments and post ur own..and here i am ..I think I am no more lurker now:)

  15. Hi!
    My name is Sue, and I'm a lurker.
    I do comment sometimes, obviously, but not as often as I lurk!

    I'm often afraid my comments will sound inane.

    On the other hand, I've never been shy of posting on my own blog when I have nothing much to say, because my whole blog is basically about nothing much!

    Good post, though... I had a similar conversation with my husband about blogging just last night over dinner.
    (Now, wasn't that something you don't need to know?)


  16. When I got introduced to bloggin, I was under the impession that only if you knew the person, one could leave a comment, so I had stayed away...but being the person I am, would feel terrible that I didn't say what I wanted to on their blog. I finally got the courage and managed to leave a comment, and to think that yours was the first one where I stopped lurking around :)

    It was about the "What do you think is this scar? " post

  17. Yes, I completely agree.
    I didn't know there was a word for such lurkers. Even though I agree with your dictum(s) (the latin word would probably be dictumen, but I'm not sure lol), a comment never hurt anyone, so lurkers get out of your shell and comment, for God's sake!

  18. You couldn’t have timed this post any better!

    My entry to the blogworld was as a part of my New Year resolution. In fact I did my first post on Jan1, and I hope to write more, though time is a major casualty, skill set being another. Except to a couple of them, I haven’t mentioned my blog to any of my friends who know me personally, and this is mainly because I wish(ed) to write about incidents which has influenced/affected me the most –- you could say a sort of personal diary online. When you write cut straight about events in your life which have hurt you in the past, there are chances that it might hurt few of your friends if they happen to read it. Hence, there is a bit to be said in favor of anonymity as well. I don’t believe there is anything wrong in blogging anonymously, though I am against leaving ‘anonymous’ comments! It was just on the spur of a moment that I felt like requesting you to read my article and leave your remarks, and trust me, though I visit several blogs and leave my comments, I never quite realized how much a comment can boost a person until I received one from you. I am not an active blogger, but I make it a point to leave my comments if I find a post interesting.

    - Balu

  19. Vegemite

    Gimme some honey or some lemon butter any day.


    And I'm no lurker, I'm too opinionated at times to say nothing.


  20. i agree totally. I am a lurker turned commenter, took me a while though :)

  21. yay!!! I always leave comments on my 2 favourite blogs (a pat on my back;)) Sometimes I get a feeling that the blogger is fed of me commenting unfailingly LOL! But yes, so true, comments mean a lot to bloggers. Point number err.. oh u dont have point numbers here.. "the best way would be to NOT read other comments before posting." This is true coz when u read, u agree to them all and end up wanting to write the same thing, and ultimately not writing anything. So after posting this, I'm going to read all the comments up there :D

  22. Yes, I do agree.when i get my sitemeter report, the amount of callers I can see does not correlate with the comments I recieve..Like you, I can understand why some might feel a little shy...I guess it is up to us to show that we're aproachable...and you certainly are!

  23. do ppl really die blogging? LOL I cant get that.

    **I also believe in the dictum that if you have nothing to say on your blog, you should be silent!

    I agree but also I think it's really upto the blogger to decide that. I mean some ppl blog for the heck of it, to get away from stress...even if they dun hv anything special to say. So yeah, it's really upto them.


  24. preeti, agree with you 100% on the comments issue....it sure is a good way of letting the person know that he/she has been read...

    but , empty posts may not signify as such for the person posting them...I started it as a way of expression and i think that's the reason for most people...

    Lurkers, as preeti has so very well put it, do delurk...you could be making someone's day :)

  25. I do read ur blogs..but i know im bad in writing even simple comments.....heheehe..dats y i hardly comment. but i feel good when i read ur blogs. so dont wonder y i dont comment.;)

  26. You sure made some lurkers come out of hiding. Love reading your posts. keep it up.

  27. Sourav:Thanks for the compliments! Shall surely drop by soon.

    Misti:What i meant by 'empty posts' are nothing important--nothing that means something even to the blogger--but still the blogger wants to post.

    NM:If the post was amusing then i think the blogger wont mind you leaving a smiley.But what if the post was moving or deep? Then dont you think a smiley would be inappropriate?

    Marja: Thanks for the compliments!I enjoy your writings too.

    Hari: Do comments from 'experienced' bloggers really help?A blog is what YOU feel right?How does anybody's suggestion matter? Just asking--maybe I am just too plain pig headed to listen to anyone.

  28. Interesting post. I have to agree that it does make a blogger's day when a comment is received or updated unto the post.

    but at the end of day, i guess its up to the individual if they would like to share their thoughts or not. =)

  29. Nessa: I know you always do.

    Tys: You ain't no blog whore, you hairy scary man!!


    Palsworld:What a pleasure to meet you! I'm happy U decided to de-lurk.I have left a comment on yours too!Pls chk!

    Chitra: :-)

  30. xh: i too do that.

    Lalitha:I am so glad you decided to leave me a comment.Yes--initially the blogosphere seems daunting--but most are friendly folks! Shall scrap you on orkut!

    Guru: i dont know--what I meant by 'empty posts' are posts that bloggers make just for the heck of it.Yes--may be it is a cry for help--but maybe not.I dont know.

    It'sme: Nice to meet you at last!!I am so happy you decided not to lurk! Thanks!

    Sue: your posts are NOT at all about 'nothing much'!And of course I needed to know that--how else will we discover that all husbands are alike! :-)

  31. Prats: i am glad we met!

    DM: Unless its a comment from trolls--we wouldnt want that, right?!

    Balu: I am always happy when you do--and it was nice reading your posts too.

    Scotty: ha ha--But of course!!

    Padma: The magic wand worked on you--Hooray!!

    Shru: I too dont read any comments till I say what i want to!

    Keshi:It was a comic meant to be funny--Glad it made you laugh!And funnily only you notices--Personally I thought it was hilarious.There are more at the link i gave under the pic.

  32. Niall: i thought YOU weren't --initially that is.Now I know better!;-)

    Thinking aloud:I guess I should clarify that what i meant by empty posts are posts that mean nothing to the blogger himself/herself.

    Pai:Thanks for commenting this time!!

    Romila:The magic worked on you--hooray hooray!!Thanks for coming out of hiding!

    Sweetsticky:I agree--we can only request beg and plead for comments.The final choice is upto the reader!

  33. Preeti,

    I am a keen listener and there are times when we are not able to put in the right words or tones to the thoughts we want to put forward. So valuable inputs in the form of suggestive comments help in reaching out our thoughts more powerfully.

  34. Well.. i do admit that this post will draw huge number of comments :) and one and all will leave comments also to prove themselves to be on lurkers :)

    But anyhow, I like to follow your posts, love your template(haven't seen a better till now)

    I also like your cat... how old is she/he?

  35. Hari: I shall keep that in mind.

    Aathira: Well--the idea was to discover the lurkers.I really like to connect with those who are kind enough to read what i have to say.The cat is a stray.Actually I feel sorry for all animals, expecially strays.And personally I'm not a 'cat' person--but I like to pet them and feed them.(Besides, its really good for my kids--does wonders for emotional development.)
    And hey--thanks for compliments abt my template :-)

  36. I thought you might be interested in this

    And yes, I don't leave smiley's when its a moving/touching/deep post. It definitely would be totally inane of me to do that! :D

  37. NM: Thanks for the link!(Had heard of it and intended to participate--but totally forgot--thanks for reminding)Of course you wont do that--but you'll be amazes how many people use it inappropriately when it is not needed at all!

  38. Except for the totally stupid posts - I comment most of the times , to let the author know that I read it.

    "I also believe in the dictum that if you have nothing to say on your blog, you should be silent! " -
    I completely agree. I dont believe in posting just about anything just to be regular and "maintain the frequency in order to retain readership". Write when you really feel like it. :)

    Cool post. I loved the picture.

  39. I have read almost all your posts. You are one of my favourite bloggers. But, very very rarely I comment due to language problem.
    But, this post really sounds logical and sensible. So here is my comment :-)

  40. Adi crazy: yes!Thats exactly what i meant by an 'empty post'

    Karthik: Your English is fine!! And hey--thanks for the comment.

  41. Very nice post! Your Abracadabra really works.. ;-)

  42. Your posts are interesting, I visited your blog out of curiosity as hari has rated u very highly.

  43. It is an interesting post ... and more :)

  44. Sango: heh heh!!

    Fruitu:Thanks so much!!Glad curiuosity did not disappoint!

    Revathi: More what? :-)

  45. Inspirational, it is because of blogs like yours, i started mine.

  46. It has never occured to me to lurk.
    If I want to speak to someone, I do!!!
    But I do "get it" as far as lurking goes. Sometimes too, you aren't in the mood to type. You go, you read, then you move on!
    But I am glad I found you ;D and also glad you refuse to advertise on your blog. After all, it is a personal space.

  47. There aren't any more lurkers out there now, right?

    Guilty of not posting comments to every post that I read. But will definitely try not to do that anymore.

  48. HM: who knows!! I think there are still a few!(sitemeter says so!)

    Gillian:I'm glad I found you too!You are so right about blog being a personal space.However some people use it profesionally.


  49. Hey P , Sorry for not leaving any comments earlier. I always thought My comments may not be what I really want to express but trust me you are world ka best blog Mom.

  50. R: my kids say I'm the best mom in THE world!! :-) May I know your name, O mysteriuos R..Raj?Reena? Rahul? Raima? Randhir? Ricki? Rocky? Who?!!!Please say!!

  51. 51 comments!! Seems to be working :P

  52. Interesting post! I often wonder who reads my 'stuff' and what they thought... I never read other's comments before I make mine and I never read other memes posts before I write mine... I enjoyed reading this!

  53. Hey P I am R for Rajashree remember me????I luv reading your blogs & hope Amrita will make one soon.

  54. Just how do you manage to hit the rightest spot, Preeti? I guess I know who you are referring to somewhere in this post...;-)
    This is one of your best posts, because it hits bulls eye!! You made all the lurkers come out of their hiding places and reward you with comments!! Just astounding! By themselves, your posts are reaction-compulsive.... if you know what I mean.

  55. PS, this time its not the keyboard, its the CPU that received a shock -- if you know what i mean;)

    Probably my guess that your guess is me is wrong. But if my guess that your guess is me is right, then your guess is wrong. Either one of us is wrong!

  56. Ha haaa. good one. I bet you got loads of comments from the 'lurkers' this time. First time here, even though i've seen these '2 legs pic' somewhere.... came here through writer's island.....

  57. preethi: Glad you did and nice meeting you!

    Balu: :-)

    Punam:I like to see whom i'm talking to!

    Tumblewords: me too!

    R: I had an inkling it was you--but wast sure!I'm sure amritha will make a blog soon.She is really creative and talented.

  58. I couldn’t help commenting on this one ;) you're right. I have regular visitors who enjoy reading what I write, but they choose to phone me up and say amazing things. I say, I am not saying nothing, Put that in writing! It’s only fair, right?!

  59. Hummm, I have to confess, most times I'm a lurker! :)
    I use the same logic as you do: if I have nothing special to say, I simply don't feel comfortable making silly comments just to let you know I read it all; that would too pollute the commentsphere!
    But you convinced me... next time expect from me at least the 22-letter phrase! :)

  60. This comment has been removed by the author.

  61. Nobody calls me a lurker and gets away with it ;-)

    My mother is turned on by the television, and vice versa. Think about it.

  62. It was an interesting post.
    22 letters and I really mean it. :)

    Since I dint have much work today, I have been going through your posts from morning(I donno how I reached your blog. Your blog is too good). I couldn't comment on all your posts but I did comment on a few. So Please don't call me a Lurker. :)

  63. hey,
    ur blogs r really good to read..very lucid n temping...btw i loved ur "orkut n the xmen" article...its jus awesome n so hilarious...
    i'm also plannin to strt a blog of my own..n ur an inspiration...
    thnx 4 providing us the intelligent n the funny thngs...
    keep it up...its gr8...

    hehe..im nt a lurker...:)

  64. I was blog-hopping and came across your lovely blog. Liked your style of writing. Read some of the posts but will come back for more. And yes this post is the one that compelled me to comment :)

    btw Congrats and Good Luck on your first book !!

  65. PS,
    Yes, delurking now! Congratulations on your book release! Waiting to buy one and read!


  66. Ramya,Rashmi:Thanks!!

    Hrishi: :-)

    Sreelal: Ok I wont!!

    Guto:Thanks for commenting :-)


    Gubbi: I agree too :)

  67. hey preeti ... looks like your magic mantra is working ... i had been reading your posts for a while now ... am your blog follower too ... and i like your posts as well but never really commented on it because whatever i wanted to write were already covered ...so i followed your idea of not reading others comments ! I blog as well and i fully understand (and agree to what you said) how special a comment is to a blogger ...

  68. Hey Preeti .. !!
    I was a Lurker too before stumbling on this post of yours. You got me :) - Let me tell you, your blog is like one of those best-sellers you don't want to put down. I shall surely try to read your book when I get a chance.

    I am a newbie in the blogging world and I would be really honoured if you visit my blog someday(when you are free of course)


    Watm regards,

  69. With u Preethy, I have decided I will never be a lurker! :) ..cos I love them so much!
    U might be on marathon posting; but I am into marathon reading.. all ur older posts which I missed! :)


  70. Anonymous1:48 PM

    Lurking is good at times.. but at times you do fel like u might get lost in those crowded comments!!!

  71. I have to admit, that I am a big time lurker. There's a reason too. I get my 'me' time normally after 10 at night when my toddler has gone to bed and all my chores are done. So that leaves little time for me to check emails and read all the blogs that I do on a daily basis before going to bed. Reading in a hurry and dashing off to the next blog with very little commenting happening is more the norm. All said & done, I'm a regular here...absolutely love your writing style and your posts.

  72. Totally agree with you on this. I do tend to lurk at times when but then I think of my blog and how I like receiving comments :)

  73. I am relatively new to blogsphere, (still kind-of lurker) but trying to get out of that lurker mode.

    Well this was sure an interesting post :)

  74. Hey PS - I read this post and decided to stop being a lurker! I spent most of my last weekend reading your blog actually, at the expense of pending housework :) - it had me hooked. Simple and straight from the heart...Keep 'em coming

  75. lol...this sure must've got all the lurkers out or some must've jus got scared n left forever...but i don't understand hw can anybody not comment on a post they hv really liked reading...mayb only bloggers understand this...


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