Another annual Love our Lurkers Day has come and gone. The cyber event, initiated seven years ago in our part of the cyber universe by Bonnie of My Bottom Smarts, is ostensibly an opportunity for those who "lurk" on our various blogs to come out of hiding and say "hello." While I don't participate, and haven't for years, I observe the festivities played out on many blogs around the circle. This year, I note two "new" manifestations around the whole business.
This year, it seems that there were a fair number of bloggers who chose to offer various incentives to their lurkers. Apparently, many people have determined that it is not sufficient to offer an invitation to the ubiquitous lurker. The consensus seems to be shifting toward the belief that the only way to get the hidden ones to show themselves is to bribe them into offering a word or two.
The other phenomenon that I noticed this year is that some bloggers feel disappointed in the "turn out" they got out of the event. I saw several discussions about how many actual lurkers commented, and there is a bit of consternation that, in fact, many of the LOL Day comments are left, not by lurkers, but by regular reader/commenters just making the rounds and saying, "Hi" to friends and neighbors. Again, the feeling I get is that the "invitation" doesn't seem to accomplish what is wanted.
I have "met" some wonderful people through the act of writing this blog. There are people who have become companions and even "friends," albeit with the caveat that we've never laid eyes on one another. For those people, I have a deep affection and an enduring gratitude. Those relationships are valuable to me, and I appreciate the effort invested in building relationship by the reader on the other side of the screen. Lurkers however, do not enter into that sort of interaction. They come here to read, and I choose to make this place open and available in that way. I can "see" those readers in my statistics, but I know nothing at all about those people. They are, for me, "audience" in some sense, but they are not people that I know or care about very much.
I think that, for many who blog, Love Our Lurkers Day is sort of fun. It is an Internet variant of a neighborhood garage sale, or maybe that convivial Halloween Trick or Treating sort of wandering from house to house that happens in some places on the evening of October 31. Sometimes, lurkers observing the merriment might decide to take a chance and join the party, but it isn't about them... LOL Day is about us. The community likes to do it -- and so it continues.