Blurker (n.): A blog lurker who doesn’t post comments.
I have two known blurkers (and no doubt many others who have not made an impression on me, yet).
And no: I don’t know them through Sitemeter or blog stats, or any of those tools that I’m sure are useful. Yes, I like to see that there are people who actually visit, and I love to see which posts lead to the most visits, and I simply adore seeing the bizarre search terms people use to find the blog, but otherwise, those tools aren’t of interest to me.
But back to my blurkers.
My two blurkers tell me that they read my blog regularly and they often have comments, but they both refuse to post those comments. Instead, I get long, detailed e-mailed comments. And since I do not check Annie’s e-mail daily, sometimes I log on to find several long e-mails. Yes, I’ve begged both to post the comments on the blog: they are witty, articulate, engaging—I wish you could read them. They would ADD to the blog conversation. But no: they’d prefer not to.
My two blurkers intrigue me for other reasons, too: one blurker has made a few comments that make me think that s/he’s trying to get me to reveal my RL self. As I told hir, I’d prefer not to. The other blurker recently admitted to a blog crush on Annieem. Thus, my totally random description of my physical self in a recent posting. Blurker #1 can now figure out if the description matches the person s/he thinks I am (and believe me: I’m not trying to be coy here—I’ve revealed enough that anyone who actually knows me would know Annie c’est moi!); and Blurker #2 now has a physical image to add to hir blog crush.
Blurker #2 admits that s/he can’t really explain the crush to hir satisfaction, though the blurker has been trying in the last few e-mails. Something about a turn of phrase, a few personal revelations that resonate, an affinity for the same subjects, an image of a woman sitting with her laptop (now netbook) on the deck, post run, petting the neighbor’s cat (who, unlike her own cats, is an outdoorsy sort of thing), a few novels piled high at her feet, and sipping a ginger martini (even if it’s morning, it seems, this is the image my crush has of me).
And, according to my blurker, it’s the mix of the personal and the academic which is what most attracts hir to blogs like mine, because, admittedly, I’m not hir only blog crush.
My image of Blurker #1: perhaps a colleague or student or old acquaintance from my current or former home town(s) who recognizes one or two personal details, and is torn between wanting to keep reading the blog by Anonymous Annie or reading about someone s/he knows?
My image of Blurker #2: someone like me, clearly a fellow academic, who likes to start the workday (spent mostly alone, on the laptop) with a few giggles and quick connections with like-minded souls who are probably also starting their workday alone on the laptop.
My blurkers: thank you for reading and emailing, but hey, post a public comment or two once in a while. The personal/academic blogging world is relatively small from what I can tell: many of the blogs I read share the same blogrolls. But we seem like a friendly, non threatening bunch. Some of us are sarcastic and funny as hell; some vent; some of us are moms with red pens; others share thoughts in progress in order to start conversations; and others, especially in the summer, just like to meander. Join the conversation. I don’t really want new e-mail pen pals.