Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Lurkers' Anonymous

Hi, my name is Thora, and I lurk on other's blogs. People who don't even know me. And I like it. Even worse, I have no real intention of stopping.

Now, I don't randomly surf the net, looking for other blogs to read all the live-long day, but I will occasionally follow links on my friend's websites, and the blog will happen to be so interesting/funny/applicable to my own life that return to it; sometimes often, sometimes only once a month, but read I do.

I've always felt somewhat guilty in this, which is funny, in a way, because I've always liked the idea of random people reading my blog; it makes me feel famous, or well-known, or something, even if they did only come to look up if eating corned beef while pregnant is safe. (The vast majority of Google inquiries that end up at my blog are looking up some form of this very question, because of my corned beef post of several months ago, I suppose. My answer to all of those people is that of course it's safe, if you're eating American corned beef that's a proper beef brisket. If you're eating it out of a can, it's never safe, no matter who you are).

But you never know when someone feels very private about their blog (which of course leads to the question of why they put it on the Internet for the whole world to see if they care to), and would be offended by my lurking. I never post comments on these other blogs, because I don't wand to be the cause of offense, and I always hope that unlike me they don't have Google Statistics, and can't tell that someone from Oxfordshire visits them often. (I do love having Google Statistics; it lets me know all sorts of not really useful things, like 12 times "Yarnton Manor" has been entered into Google, and then led to my blog).

Then this very week, my favorite (unknown) blog to read asked who was reading their blog from Oxfordshire. I felt very ashamed, but of course I promptly wrote a comment and assured them I wasn't a terrorist (they were concerned on this fact; for one thing this blog author is a better updater than most of my linked blogs combined, and so I check it every day or so, so it did have certain unsettling stalker-like tendencies), and that I wouldn't read their blog anymore if they didn't want me to.

I felt so embarrassed at being caught lurking that I almost thought of giving up my secret habit then and there. But then the author of the blog wasn't concerned at all that I was reading it, just grateful that I wasn't a wacko (my word). So now the lurkings continue.

I've long wondered if there are others out there like me. Surely among my many readers, known and unknown, there are those who enjoy reading about someone's life that they have never, or only very peripherally met. If so, step forward and let me know, and we can start a lurkers' anonymous together.


  1. I, too, read blogs of people I have never met. Or people I know, but they have no idea I read their blog. I assume you fall into the latter category. (If you don't know who I am, that's your own fault. You had Hawaiian Haystacks at my house.) So go ahead, feel famous. And now you know I read your blog. :)

  2. I love blog lurking (o: I've found some amazing blogs through friend links (actually, Tianna is the one who pointed me to your blog).

  3. hey how do you get the google statistic thing?? I want it!! And I am a horrible lurker.. I am ashamed of it sometimes too. but like you said if they post it on the web and not in a private blogg or something then they cant be upset if i read it! I actually could tell you a few stories of my shameless stalking of people i used to know.. but its not something i want to put on the web!! LOL anyways IM me sometime and i will make you feel better about your lurking. I must admit I have been reading your friend Rose blog, i hope she doesnt mind. I also read some one else in england blog that was linked from your blog from a comment someone made once... i actually posted on it once to tell them i read it becuase i felt like i was invading.

    thora, i gotta laugh though because you always were the family "lurker" so to speak. Reading everyons journals!! LOL.

  4. I love this post! And the comments after it especially made me laugh. I use Google Reader -- it tells me when my favorite blogs have updated without me clicking on the blog repeatedly. But I can't use it exclusively -- I miss out on great comments like these, and all the links on the side.

  5. I just found you on Mormon Mommy Blogs, and clicked over to this link. I'm now a fan and I will become a "lurker." Hope you don't mind!