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Why do lurkers lurk?

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Why do lurkers lurk?
Posted by BigDaddy on Tuesday, January 12, 2021 6:11 PM

I admit I have joined non-MR forum to ask a question, or even to read a thread in one of my peripheral hobbies.  I don't go back to those forums on any kind of a regular basis.

Other forums I have dropped, like my BMW Airhead forum, because I don't have a motorcycle anymore

Kevins' Yearbook thread brought out 3 lurkers.  They have been members for a cumulative 25 years and only 108 total posts.  Kevin can do that many in a month.

So why not post more?  Have you been met with unkind responses?   Are there just too many guru's here?  Like my other forums, are you just not here very much?  Are most of the threads of no interest to your?

My theory is if you don't post, you don't find out what you know is wrong.  But there maybe other viewpoints on that.

 

 

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

Shenandoah Valley

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Posted by tstage on Tuesday, January 12, 2021 6:28 PM

Why do posters post?

BigDaddy
Kevins' Yearbook thread brought out 3 lurkers. They have been members for a cumulative 25 years and only 108 total posts. Kevin can do that many in a month.

Or a week...

https://tstage9.wixsite.com/nyc-modeling

Time...It marches on...without ever turning around to see if anyone is even keeping in step.

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Posted by RR_Mel on Tuesday, January 12, 2021 6:41 PM

 
We also have a lot of posting done by those that should be lurkers and not posting just to see if they can stir the pot.

 

Mel



 
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Posted by MJ4562 on Tuesday, January 12, 2021 6:45 PM

I learn a lot more by reading than by talking or posting.

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Posted by pt714 on Tuesday, January 12, 2021 7:10 PM

MJ4562

I learn a lot more by reading than by talking or posting.

 

 

Ditto. I update my personal layout thread here and contribute to WPF every now and again, and choose not to get involved in too much else. There are many, many discussions here where there's much to be gained from "listening" to those who have been doing this for longer.

Phil

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Posted by CGW103 on Tuesday, January 12, 2021 7:33 PM

BigDaddy
My theory is if you don't post, you don't find out what you know is wrong.

 

Dont post much.

I see someone ask a question and quite a few times I see contradictory answers. I am not gonna jump into that mess. Besides that I get no enjoyment from typing on line, I would rather listen.

 

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Tuesday, January 12, 2021 7:55 PM

I am a member of a photography forum where I lurk. The people there are so much more knowledgeable than I am, and I don't even know enough (compared to them) to know what to ask.

They are so much better than I am, and I am actually a bit intimidated by the group's abilities.

My camera rig is a joke compared to the gear they use.

However, I do learn a lot there.

When I owned an RV I joined the Yahoo Fleetwood American Coach Owner's group and lurked there for a couple of years as well, but that was more for professional concerns.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by mbinsewi on Tuesday, January 12, 2021 8:12 PM

BigDaddy
So why not post more?  Have you been met with unkind responses?   Are there just too many guru's here?  Like my other forums, are you just not here very much?  Are most of the threads of no interest to your?

THIS is my time of the year to be here, that's why I post as I do.  So, the rest of the year, I check in from time to time, and lurk.

Same way with live RR like Railstream and VRF.  I bet you lurk alot on the VRF. What I like is the local connection with the Waupace cam.  It's at MP 221. and I'm near MP 84.,  Trains take about 8 hrs. from me to cam.

I do this on a desk top computer, in my 2nd floor "office", so it's not a phone thing, like I'm on the streets, and when I am trackside, I have my camera, and scanner, and post later.

So, I do some lurking, as I did here for quite a while, off and on , since 2005?  I think my avatar says I joined in 2010. that's when I got serious about building my layout, and got it done in 3 years, ( well, not 110%, detailing to do) and have stayed since.

So, that's my story, and I'm stickin" to it. Mischief

Mike.

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Posted by selector on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 3:28 AM

With my post count, I'm hardly a lurker.  But I do very much enjoy seeing members post who don't normally.  It amazes me when I look at their tombstone information and find they joined years before I did.

I think the answer really is as simple as that some folks don't seek the limelight, or are secure in their knowledge, or know they'll never have enough to contribute to some detailed discussions, or they are not currently active in the hobby, but they enjoy keeping up to an extent.  This is what happens in real life, too.  Many enjoy being onlookers and are content to let others do the talking.  Sometimes it's good for laugh.  Smile, Wink & Grin

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Posted by Medina1128 on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 4:19 AM

tstage

Why do posters post?

 

Why do woodchucks chuck? Oh, c'mon, someone was gonna ask.

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Posted by freeway3 on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 5:42 AM

CGW103
I am not gonna jump into that mess.

This ^. Threads on this forum very often devolve into a dumpster fire. I think that's just the nature of online forums in general. I don't think this forum is any better or worse than most.

That said, I have been guilty of being lured off track in at least one thread myself recently (the hockey puck thing, and coincidentally, it was a thread started by Big Daddy). I still feel bad about that.  

I'm a long time lurker. I do learn a lot, but have to weed through to find what I think are valid responses and knowledgable posters. While I don't know anyone here personally, as far as I know, I have been able to identify those who generally give good, reliable info on various subjects.

I do try to give back where I can. I've certainly got more to learn than to teach.

 

Ed

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Posted by NorthBrit on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 5:51 AM

SeeYou190

I am a member of a photography forum where I lurk. The people there are so much more knowledgeable than I am, and I don't even know enough (compared to them) to know what to ask.

They are so much better than I am, and I am actually a bit intimidated by the group's abilities.

My camera rig is a joke compared to the gear they use.

However, I do learn a lot there.

 

-Kevin

 

 

An interesting reply, Kevin.  

Your answer could also apply to the lurker.

They possibly think we know it all  and are in a way frightened to contribute thinking they will show themselves up.  When in actual fact they do have excellent ideas  (and we need to know them because we do not know it all.).

 

The trains they run are 'what children would run'  and not the latest model/kit etc.?   so they think.  

We have all been there  (and some say they are still there).  What we have learned and are still learning has been over a number of years.

 

They may say there layout (if they have one)  isn't good and not worth showing.

Why not show it anyway.  Many a good layout is not seen (and should).

 

So if you are a lurker, lurk no more.

Contribute to discussions.

Show your layout    .   We need your ideas  and suggestions.

Welcome on board.

 

David

To the world you are someone.    To someone you are the world

I cannot afford the luxury of a negative thought

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Posted by Billwiz on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 7:44 AM

It might be the same as in any group setting.  As both a pastor and a college professor, I've had people chime in no matter what, some sharing great insights, some sharing whatever they believe (no matter if it is correct or not), some sharing sparingly and some who are more comfortable taking it in and not willing to speak up.  In those cases it might be lack of knowledge, or even lack of percieved knowledge (like "they know far more than me so I'll keep quiet").  And every so often they are the ones who bring in an outstanding point to ponder.

 

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 8:17 AM

mbinsewi

 

 
BigDaddy
So why not post more?  Have you been met with unkind responses?   Are there just too many guru's here?  Like my other forums, are you just not here very much?  Are most of the threads of no interest to your?

 

THIS is my time of the year to be here, that's why I post as I do.  So, the rest of the year, I check in from time to time, and lurk.

Same way with live RR like Railstream and VRF.  I bet you lurk alot on the VRF. What I like is the local connection with the Waupace cam.  It's at MP 221. and I'm near MP 84.,  Trains take about 8 hrs. from me to cam.

I do this on a desk top computer, in my 2nd floor "office", so it's not a phone thing, like I'm on the streets, and when I am trackside, I have my camera, and scanner, and post later.

So, I do some lurking, as I did here for quite a while, off and on , since 2005?  I think my avatar says I joined in 2010. that's when I got serious about building my layout, and got it done in 3 years, ( well, not 110%, detailing to do) and have stayed since.

So, that's my story, and I'm stickin" to it.

Mike.

 

So I don't know if you meant to refer to the "collective" "you", but I don't even know what VRF is, let alone lurk there?

Sheldon

    

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 8:22 AM

I'm pretty active on here, and sometimes outspoken and controversial, but even at that I read more than post, and I skip over more than I read. 

I think some are just overwhelmed by the amount of jnfornation available to be processed.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by maxman on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 8:26 AM

virtual rail fan? They have live stream video at multiple locations.

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Posted by drgwcs on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 8:33 AM

I don't know sometimes I lurk more here than other forums. I think that is a little more when it comes to photo threads. I am a member in several forums and a group owner for one in FB. I am probably more active in FB ones because of ease of use and posting photos as well as more concentrated interests on specific railroads.

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Posted by MARTIN STATION on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 8:35 AM

I'm sorry but if I answer then I might just lose my statis as a "lurker".

Ralph

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 8:57 AM

maxman

virtual rail fan? They have live stream video at multiple locations.

 

OK, not something I'm into. I see plenty of real trains in person by "acedent" where I live, and I'm far too busy to spend time watching real trains that I havd no interest in modeling.

I have spent a minute or two watching the live feed from the Strasburg Rail Road, but even that only holds my attention for short time considering I go there in person 2-3 times a year.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by snjroy on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 9:03 AM

I think many people are just not comfortable writing in general. Having an automated spell check might help... Some are probably hesitant to contribute because they lack confidence, or are affraid to be "shut down", as mentioned by others. I must say that forum members are very civil in general. Nasty comments are generally exchanged between the regulars Smile. It can be very unpleasant and I sometimes find it hard not to reply to some of the really nasty comments I read. Moderation could be more proactive in my opinion.

In my professional life, "brainstorming" is not only acceptable but also encouraged. I am therefore used to speak up, suggest things, and yes, I will be wrong in some instances. I think most of us non-lurkers are in the same group: most of their contributions add content, with some mistakes caught by others. What I find a bit annoying is when some members insist on the one-way to do things, not realizing that others might not have the skills or financial resources to do so.... In any case, if this forum was only populated by "experts", a lot of questions would be left unanswered. I *do* appreciate the contributions of those who are highly knowledgeable. Sometimes I wonder what would happend if 4 or 5 of them left the forum... 

I don't post questions very often.  Is there a term for those? When I have some kind of problem or challenge, I either find the solution through online searches (99% of the cases), or I ask someone at the club. Maybe I should post questions more often, I haven't really thought about it... 

Simon

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 9:17 AM

snjroy
I don't post questions very often.  Is there a term for those? When I have some kind of problem or challenge, I either find the solution through online searches (99% of the cases), or I ask someone at the club. Maybe I should post questions more often, I haven't really thought about it... 

This is why a 'welcoming tone' even for apparently 'dumb' or 'previously-answered' questions is the right way the 'regular posters' should respond.  It should not hurt if, while running the online searches or waiting to talk to someone at the club, you spool up the forum and ask the question here.  At worst no one answers, or you have to endure a little banter.  And at best we might give you information or insights you wouldn't have gotten the 'other ways' -- I suspect the hive-mind here is more extensive than any club's, and representative of more types of education and experience.  And perhaps easier than the SEO firehose of asking questions via Google or some other search engine...

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Posted by davidmurray on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 9:22 AM

I lurked for many months, perhaps longer.  I was learning things, so I was happy.

Then I saw a question that no one had yet answered, that I felt able to answer, so I did.

Now I answer more, but there are others with more knowledge on most topics in here.

 

David Murray from Oshawa, Ontario Canada
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Posted by snjroy on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 9:26 AM

Overmod

 

 
snjroy
I don't post questions very often.  Is there a term for those? When I have some kind of problem or challenge, I either find the solution through online searches (99% of the cases), or I ask someone at the club. Maybe I should post questions more often, I haven't really thought about it... 

 

This is why a 'welcoming tone' even for apparently 'dumb' or 'previously-answered' questions is the right way the 'regular posters' should respond.  It should not hurt if, while running the online searches or waiting to talk to someone at the club, you spool up the forum and ask the question here.  At worst no one answers, or you have to endure a little banter.  And at best we might give you information or insights you wouldn't have gotten the 'other ways' -- I suspect the hive-mind here is more extensive than any club's, and representative of more types of education and experience.  And perhaps easier than the SEO firehose of asking questions via Google or some other search engine...

 

 

  I find it's hit and miss when it comes to the responses... Some really interesting questions sometimes only get a few answers, while some questions with really obvious answers get a sh*tload of responses, many not really on topic. Looking at the historical answers from here and other sources is often richer. And I like reading, so it's not a problem. I should add that I tend to work on vintage stuff, so a lot of the answers in old posts are often more useful. But not always, new information does pop up, but because I read this forum on a regular basis, I'm usually "up to date" with the most recent techniques.

Simon

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Posted by Soupy on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 9:32 AM

As I said in reply to another thread, I lurked for ten plus years after being hurt by some unkind comments made by a few.  I must say, and I don't remember who, someone replied, "Ignore them, they're jerks."

Aside from that, I don't have a current layout and am unlikely to have one again.  After five or so tries I've learned that I love building the benchwork, laying the track and getting it operational but then lose interest. 

I do continue to love the hobby and looking at the progress and craftsmanship exhibited by many who come here.

Keep up the good work and I'll keep lurking . . . and respond with a comment when I have something useful and non-controversial (I hope) to add.

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Posted by dknelson on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 9:59 AM

Commenting on these Forums was more "dangerous" for sensitive souls decades ago, when there were some genuinely nasty and highly personal comments particularly posted on weekends when the moderators were not always on duty.  I think that was pretty common across the spectrum of internet forums and chat rooms back then. 

It really was a reign of terror there for a while.   

I am reminded of a famous incident involving Abraham Lincoln. The night before he delivered the Gettysburg Address, a group of people and I think even a small band came to his hotel and he went to a window and waved.  Someone called for a speech.  He refused, saying something to the effect that "it is very important for a person in my position not to be heard to say something foolish."  A heckler in the crowd yelled "if he can help it."   Lincoln smiled and said "and often the only way to help it is to say nothing at all" and shut the window.

Dave Nelson

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Posted by snjroy on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 11:08 AM

Soupy

As I said in reply to another thread, I lurked for ten plus years after being hurt by some unkind comments made by a few.  I must say, and I don't remember who, someone replied, "Ignore them, they're jerks."

Aside from that, I don't have a current layout and am unlikely to have one again.  After five or so tries I've learned that I love building the benchwork, laying the track and getting it operational but then lose interest. 

I do continue to love the hobby and looking at the progress and craftsmanship exhibited by many who come here.

Keep up the good work and I'll keep lurking . . . and respond with a comment when I have something useful and non-controversial (I hope) to add.

 

Wow, the benchwork and the tracks are probably what discourage most... My next layout will probably just be a shelf layout that goes around the room with pretty much only ballast, grass and pictures in the background. A few buildings at most.

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Posted by Water Level Route on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 11:47 AM

I lurked without ever joining for a long time.  I only joined when I had an issue and needed to vent and eventually ask for help on things.  I don't always have time to stay up to date on the various threads and usually when there is something I could provide input on, either someone else (usually a regular) posted something similar or the conversation moved on to something else.

Mike

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Posted by Seeker_CNY on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 12:41 PM

The reason why I "lurk" is because most queries are answered by those with much more experience than I possess. As I gain skill and experience I will probably post more. Any questions that I myself have had I have found answers to by searching old topics. There is a great group of folks here and I feel privileged to glean knowledge from their experiences. The few posts I have made were in situations where my input may have been of value.

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Posted by MARTIN STATION on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 2:59 PM

As I stated in another post, I used to spend time learking during break time and lunch while at work but now that I'm retired maybe I can speak up more. Most of the time I just feel that I learn more by "listening than talking" or someone else has said what I would have. With this Covid thing going on, it's good to have some place to go and vist, even on line.

Ralph

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Posted by kasskaboose on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 3:34 PM

I used to lurk out of fear that I had nothing to contribute.  Offering suggestions was not easy but I realized that often, there are no perfect answers.  It seems that what works for me might not for others, but perhaps it's something to consider.

The value of posting is learning about something new.

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