Hanselman's 7 Blogging Statistics Rules... post was good medicine for a haphazard blogger like me. There was one portion to which I had comment:
I feel like we've (that means me and you, Dear Reader) have a little community here. When you comment, I am happy because I feel more connected to the conversation as this blog is my 3rd place. I blog to be social, not to have a soapbox. I'm even happier when the comments are better and more substantive than the post itself. I would take half the traffic and twice the comments any day. If you're a "lurker," why not join the conversation?
I've spent most of my time on the web lurking. It started with a mailing list for people who like electronic music ("IDM") I joined while in college - in the 10 years it's been I've probably posted less than 20 messages. But I have spent a lot of time as a curator for posts I've enjoyed as well as making notes of what music I would investigate the next time I was in a record store.
In a similar fashion I tend to hang onto posts I enjoy and go back to them. To out myself further as a geek I even print out the ones I'd like to focus on so that I can read them offline at a coffee house or bookstore. I file them away and when I do my occasional cleaning it's hard not to smile and pause to re-read something that was good on the first effort. It's hard to measure us lurkers because we don't vocalize our responses right away and when we do finally get them the post may have tens or hundreds of comments at which point all seems moot. But I think as a lurker I can be a better blog consumer in the sense that I hang onto what's said a little more - it's not just a random post I skimmed in the aggregator.
Forgive the lurker as they make sputtering or failed attempts at immediate conversation, but maybe that conversation will be like the one you have with a great dead tree publication being read and reread.