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Full Version: Why do people Lurk ?
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One of the most frustrating aspects of running a forum are the people that lurk but don't participate in discussions. I think people lurk because:

1. They don't feel "cool", "smart", or "knowledgeable" enough to be able to contribute.

2. Difficulty navigating and knowing where to post and what is appropriate to post. I remember at some point I joined a forum an unknowingly broke a rule (responded to an old post) and I shied away from participating for a long time after that.

3. They are coming for information but not to contribute. Laziness.

4. They think the forum is moving too slow and they won't get a response (this won't happen here, I assure ya).
I lurked for years and years...In all honesty the boards were not and still are not my cup of tea though I like to know whats going on and whats for sale and whats coming in. I finally broke down and joined them after being asked to by friends and I get way too irritated and Im too short fused to really be an asset to a board even if I can contribute....Many of the people that have left the boards and still read up on whats going on....Many of the oldtimers do this I know as I get emails from a few of them about what they see and whether or not they agree with my latest work.

Then you have the competition and their crew checking in. I have to think that is most of it. And spammers.

On this forum I lurk because there isn't much of interest to me. I also don't frequent this site all that often so when I find a post where I could answer the question or give advise - its usually given already. Why repeat the same thing. If I can't write something useful to someone else I don't see the need to write at all.

So basically none of the reasons you've given above.


Chuck....you've forgotten more about Dart Frogs than most people here know.

I'm sure you could find some topics to write about, that were not already covered.
My time is really limited and 99% of the stuff has been cover previously, many, many time. Why repeat it. I'm just not willing to take the time - way to much to do and not nearly enough time in the day. I'm also getting old and grumpy and most times its better for me not to post. I'm also dyslexic and it takes me a while to compose a post - longer than for most people. I do much better in person and like it better that way. If I don't see an answer I will pipe up but mostly its been said in the post I read.


I'm generally a confirmed Lurker, I like to sit back & absorb info, I'll share when I can, I visit a couple of UK sites most days but find things can become too bitchy at times. I must say I found this forum quite welcoming, I have another dart project coming upon the next month or so. I'm sure you'll be hearing more from me
As a self confirmed "Lurker", I will briefly elaborate as to why I don't usually participate in conversations very often.

1) Quite a large number of people like to argue about most anything, more often than not in a quite childish manner. I understand a difference in opinion, but sometimes it inadvertently results in name calling and condescending remarks. Certain members seem to cause more than others though.

2) I find that polling past threads for information is more productive than engaging in conversation with people who like to preach. Most of the time when you read threads with information rather than questions, you seem to get less ego and more sound data.

3) The general lack of respect for having a difference in opinion.

4) I'm a full time student, work full time, breed frogs, have a girlfriend, and a fraction of a social life. The last thing on my list is unfortunately posting on the forums.
I personally lurk for your first reason.

1) i don't feel knowledgeable enough to contribute. i do honestly hope to contribute as my learning curve rises more but until then i don't want to give out information in areas i haven't experienced.

if someone asked me about feeding a stubborn juvenile frog, then i could write them a couple of pages on the food and their behaviour. likewise, i could also comment on the fact that most places in northern England selling fruit flies have a couple mites in them .

and then (liked mention above) there is the negativity. I have received a PM from someone shouting at me for having a different opinion than them. that completely turned me off posting for awhile.
I think you hit the most common reasons Phil.

Still quite new to the hobby and I do much more reading than posting. On the rare occasion I have something useful to offer I'll post.

I tend to try and keep away from the mudslinger and flamethrower threads. Healthy debate and discussion is one thing, senseless name calling and flaming over a difference of opinion is all too often a thread killer. These are also the types of threads that seem to keep many from posting at all.
Someone once said (forget who...)

If you don't make @ 5-10 posts a week (in a hobby forum), then you are obviously waiting for someone else to.

I'm to the point I think the Lurkers may be the smart ones. Using the forums to learn the basics and provide a decent level of care for their frogs and avoid the actual people. Anything more usually ends in a headache....

Very Misanthropic outlook Mike....

After all I've been thru in life....I still "like" people and have hope. I still post and post....
True Phil but we both have taken hell and I come equipped with a great sence of humor and tough skin. I can handle it and will keep on contributing. Others, Im not sure would, Teaching and passing on knowledge is the only way to keep the hobby going or even better it. But it seems as of late the larger part of the hobby only wants to hear nice viv and your doing everything right.

You can lurk all you want, but there's no way you're going do learn as much as someone posting, asking questions, getting involved with the group, going to frogger meets, talking with other froggers and going to their homes. Part of posting on forums is about meeting new people and learning from them and passing what you can on. Posting also leads to Pm's, e-mails, phone calls and maybe a meet. I've talked to at least a half dozen American froggers on the phone and that all started by posting on various forums. We plan on meeting them someday. We just had a Canuck meet and there was about 20 or so there. It was a great day and was nice to be able to talk frog. It started because they all post...

^^ Dead on Glenn.
I agree Glenn to a point being that I lurked the boards from the time they opened till some time early last year and I haven't learned much more than I knew then. That said I did have a connection to the herp hobby and many friends. I relied on phone, emails and shows to meet and trade frogs and learn new things. The boards are way easier than the old days. I wish I had honestly become a public part of it earlier. Maybe it would have set me in the mood to deal with the hell a bit better being in it as the boards grew.

I lurked until I had enough experience to actually answer questions and help others (at least a little bit). I really didn't ask questions because I could always find an answer by searching. I can understand why someone, especially someone new, would lurk to avoid putting themselves out there for ridicule, some of these forums can be a little brutal. I've never been ridiculed, but I can understand the reluctance to post. I agree with Michael that some people are born with thicker skin (I think I am one of those people) and can handle a little abrasiveness. I do have to say that I am glad I am no longer a lurker, I have made some friends and been offered so much help from veterans and new froggers alike, which would never happened had I remained a lurker. Just some thoughts...
I was not always a lurker, as you well know Phil, and this marks my first post on any forum for more than a year. I am doing so because you now run this one and I want to give you an E-thumbsup. Gernerally I have been described as "too passionate" for forums. Fair enough. I check in to see the current shenanigans but plan to seldom participate. Also, I have found the "underground" to be much more productive. I have weekly communication with the guys and gals I know are on a similar plane of interest to me in reguards to the hobby and best practices. I find it far more productive.

I believe I am actually living the advice given to me here and on the other forum that shall not be named (lol) to enjoy the hobby as I see fit without worry or bother for others. I am confident that the wealth of information the "old timers" hold can be easily accessed if one knows where to look. I simply seek other methods now than public boards.

Lastly, and you will likely take issue with this and I respect you for it, I just cannot stomach watching these animals be abused by idiots publicly anymore. I used to think it was my duty to the hobby to help newcomers and make an honest attempt to prevent losses. I guess there are just too many of them now. Animals find their way into unqualified hands never to be heard from again. The sustainability ramifications of this are too much for me. In the end, you are just a better man than I. I have become elitist and have no qualms about admiting it. It allows me to only hear the success stories...

So, there you have it. I lurk. This post was for you as my kudos to taking over this resource and your continued efforts. I support you...albeit quietly.
^^^ Totally "get it". No problems either way. Forums are not for everyone. Robust debate and argumentative discussion either.

I will proffer this though...I was the kind of person...years and years ago, that would get upset, cringe and hide from a post. Not anymore. The way I GOT THRU that was to bull my way to becoming less sensitive to the printed word of others. I can literally recommend that if you have an aversion, a phobia, an out-an-out problem or issue with posting....the way to combat and surmount that is to post OFTEN. Totally "gut" your way thru it and post and post and post, and one day, you will quite actually "break through" the other side and not care what others write. That is to say, not take anything personal.

...just my experience, but also a STRONG recommendation.

btw...I'll no longer be living in Broward. Check my profile - the icy, chill of Northern Florida seems to be my short term destiny. Heh.

Welcome to the Forum !
Not to derail but I did see your change of venue when I heard you took over DD. You are heading to my collegiate stomping grounds! I hope it is as enjoyable for you as it was for me...and that you remember some of it.

To your post, I don't have an aversion to robust debate as one can see in the myriad mixing threads of old. However, I found that the people I really wanted to "frog" with had begun avoiding the boards like the plague. I needed to find alternate ways to reach them that were more condusive than forums, where intellegent conversations and threads got constantly derailed by the likes of Redeyetroyfrog and his ilk. For instance, Ed recently posted a thread about research on UVB and anurans in zoological institutions that got five responses in the first 48 hours. The first response was "who can summarize this in one page and make recommendations?". Face. Palm. Meanwhile, a post that was riddled with gibberish and clearly malnurished animals entitled "should" got like 50 responses. My point, is that I am not afraid to roll up sleeves and slog through the mud...I just found a way that works better for me the animals in my keeping.

To your recommendation though, I will make an effort on DD not to be a basement lurker. Hopefully this place continues developing as a forum for the "big kids".
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