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Thursday, February 02, 2006

In Praise Of Lurkers

TheWretchedLurker.gifYesterday, a friend of mine made a confession. He confessed to me he was a lurker.

He told me he lurked here at the rabbit + crow blog. He may be lurking now. As you read this, somewhere, in some damp basement with high-speed Internet access, he may be lurking.

I told him then, and I'm telling you now, that I am sick of this expression "lurking". "Lurker", as far as I'm aware, refers to someone who reads the content of a site or newsgroup or chatroom without participating in creating that content.

Traditionally - perhaps those who have heard of the sport "football" will understand - the act of watching without participating has been called "spectating".

You see, watching a football game instead of playing it does not make me a football lurker.

When I went to see the Tutankhamen exhibit last year I was not lurking, even though I am not a member of the royal lineage of Ancient Egypt, as far as I know.

When I watch "Lord of the Rings" I am not lurking, even though I do not live in New Zealand or work for New Line.

When I go to an art gallery, the fact that I have not painted a single picture on display does not mean I am a museum lurker.

And when it's December, am I lurking when I enjoy the colored lights on someone's house without going up to their door and telling them about it? I don't think so, Mr. Claus.

I enjoy watching the Olympics, but having not the slightest interest in learning how to bobsled or speed skate doesn't make me an Olympics lurker.

I like to read who has won the latest state lottery, even though I don't play. Am I a lottery lurker?

And if you are talking at me, and I'm calmly nodding - while secretly judging the hell out of you but not telling you about it - I am not lurking. Or maybe I am. I'm not completely certain about this one.

I've published the rabbit + crow blog for anyone and everyone to read, whether they be black, white, Christian, or unsavory foreign person who can't be bothered to learn English.

The Wikipedia definition of lurker divides lurkers into "benign lurkers", "malevolent lurkers", and constructive lurkers. Balls, I say! We are all lurkers by Divine Right! We should not be ashamed, whatever our status! Lurking is a God-given treasure that separates us from the beasts!

I invite you to lurk.

In fact I insist that you lurk.

In fact...I beg you to lurk. Please lurk. Without your lurking, I'm just talking to myself and though this is one of my favorite activites, unchecked it is sure to end me up on skid row. So lurk more.

And remember the motto:

"The rabbit + crow blog - if you don't lurk, you be a jerk."

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4 Comments:

Don't read this, I'm lurking.

Actually I am lurking when I read the blog and ask out loud "So, what are you wearing?"

- By Anonymous Art, at Thu Feb 02, 07:57:00 PM GMT  

I wrote a very, very, very funny (queer) letter praising your outstanding web site, but the letter vanished through the mysteries of the electronic age. Your great site, the Lawrence of Arabia of the blogs! Now! I'll ask everyone on my e-mail list take a good look at your site, be mused, and buy!

- By Anonymous Freddie Fann, at Sat Feb 04, 06:46:00 PM GMT  

just becos i lurk doesn't make me a bad person yah?
now i feel better.
cheers
david martinez
usa/singapore

- By Blogger 2 cents worth, at Mon Feb 06, 01:49:00 AM GMT  

Right. You go on lurking. You're doing great! I'm proud of you! Don't come to my house.

- By Blogger Neal Romanek, at Mon Feb 06, 04:33:00 AM GMT  

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