I discovered why I read blog posts this evening. I’d been sifting through several hundred posts that I’d managed to stack up on my RSS reader.
I was aimlessly skimming, culling, skim-diving, reading, passing and bookmarking, when I found that the main reason I read posts is really nothing to do with networking, nothing about blog tagging and in no way connected with a desire to participate.
In fact, for a nanosecond, I actually felt a teenzy-weenzy twinge of guilt that maybe, just maybe, I’d started lurking again – back to how I was when I wasn’t a blogger. Like I used to be when I read the web2.0 like it was web1.0.
I thought, no, I’m not lurking if I’m not stimulated to post a comment.
I thought, hey, does that mean that the post I’m reading isn’t engaging?
Well, of course it’s engaging, for I was totally absorbed in its content and had been for several minutes!
I proved I wasn’t lurking when I came to the next blog post in my RSS.
I immediately dashed in a comment. And in an instant I felt this whelm of relief. No. I hadn’t lapsed into lurking after all.
Of course I’d been lurking! To lurk is to be a passive observer - inert - non-participatory - a legitimate peripheral participant. Ah! Legitimate!
It doesn’t mean that I’m not thinking. It doesn’t mean that I don’t have an opinion. And it certainly doesn’t mean that my mind is so befuddled that I don’t want to participate.
It just simply means that I found the information on the site so fascinating, so absorbingly interesting that I didn’t want to be interrupted by a selfish, opinionated, egotistical act of writing a comment!
I wanted to think.
As it happens, the particular site I'd been reading wasn’t a blog after all, at least, not the sort of site that I'd call a blog, for I couldn’t have left a comment even if I’d tried to.
See if I care.
Why do you read blog posts?